October Gnus

Science Gnus Almanac Home

October gets its name from the Roman octo, meaning eighth month.  Remember, they started counting with March as the first month in those days.

The full moon this month is called the Hunter's Moon. In October we'll have Fire Prevention Week, Energy Awareness Month, Computer Learning Month, and even Adopt-A-Dog Shelter Month.  Don't forget Columbus Day and the Columbus Day Sail. What's in the nighttime sky follows calendar highlights.   Dr. Matt Matician will discuss solar system moons (although we continue to mourn the loss of Pluto.  “Alas poor Pluto, I knew him well.”). All that plus our bonus gnus features Halloween. 


Samhainophobia is an intense fear of Halloween.

Soooooooo......... What else is gnu in October?


“You kind of took it for granted around the Yankees that there was always going to be baseball in October.”….Whitey Ford

“October, this is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks in. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February.”…….Mark Twain

“What I really want from music. That it be cheerful and profound like an afternoon in October. That it be individual, frolicsome, tender, …….”Friedrich Nietzsche

Science Gnus is an almanacish compendium of News of Science, History, Mathematics and Items of Interest as well as Professor Sy Yentz, Dr. Matt Matician, the Activity of the Month, Factorinos, Trivia Question, Bonus Trivia Question, Extinct, Trivia Answers, Jokes, Obscure Question, Scientist of the Month, and the Flower Rock and Word of the Month

out of order

Calendar Highlights
A Date


Child Health Day

            Gray Whale migration begins along the west coast of the United States to Baja,

            California, Mexico.  Why do whales migrate?  Off season rates in Cancun?  Bullfights? the Orson Whales film festival?

331 BCThursday- Our enemies are Medes and Persians, men who for centuries have lived soft and luxurious lives; we of Macedon for generations past have been trained in the hard school of danger and war. Above all, we are free men, and they are slaves. There are Greek troops, to be sure, in Persian service — but how different is their cause from ours! They will be fighting for pay — and not much of at that; we, on the contrary, shall fight for Greece, and our hearts will be in it. As for our foreign troops — Thracians, Paeonians, Illyrians, Agrianes — they are the best and stoutest soldiers in Europe, and they will find as their opponents the slackest and softest of the tribes of Asia. And what, finally, of the two men in supreme command? You have Alexander, they — Darius! ….Addressing his troops……..At the Battle of Gaugamela, 25 year old Alexander the Great defeated Darius III of Persia. Alexander began his war against the Persians in 334 BC. At the time the Macedonian leader was twenty-two years old. At his death eleven years later, Alexander ruled the largest empire of the ancient world. His victory at the battle of Gaugamela on the Persian plains  near Tel Gomel, east of Mosul, west of Brooklyn and near SOHO,  in northern modern-day Iraq -was a decisive victory both insured the defeat of his Persian rival King Darius III and assured Alexander of the cognomen, “Great” as opposed to “Pretty Good”.

            1207 –Monday-  I'm Henry the 8th I am,
Henry the 8th I am, I am,
I got married to the widow next door,
She's been married 7 times before,
And everyone was a Henry (Henry),
She wouldn't have a Willy or a Sam (no Sam)
I'm her 8th old man I Henry,
Henry the 8th I am….
Herman’s Hermits…….Bon Anniversaire/Happy Birthday, King Henry III of England. One of the more obscure of the eight Henrys, Henry was the son of King John.  When John went kaput in 1216, Henry was nine years old.  He would reign until 1272.  Good news;
learning flourished, particularly at Oxford,  many magnificent buildings were erected, including Salisbury Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.  Bad news; Henry’s reign was a political failure and foreign policy, notably a bizarre attempt  get control of Sicily for his son Prince Edmund,  disaster. The addled Henry was eventually defeated in a rebellion led by Simon de Montfort, but a year later was succeeded by his son, Edward I, one of England’s great kings.

1553 – Thursday..she cam first by water to the old palice [1] and ther tarryed tyll about xi of the clocke, and then went to the churche on foot apon blew cloth being rayled on every syde..."……Coronation of Queen Mary I of England. Mary Tudor (aka Bloody Mary) was the daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon.  When Henry’s son, Edward VI, by Jane Seymour, when kaput, Mary succeeded to the throne.  She was the first queen to be crowned in England and was also technically illegitimate as her father, the serial bridegroom, had declared her so after his marriage to Anne Boleyn. She corrected that post –coronation via an act of Parliament.

            1814 –Saturday- The events which cannot be prevented, must be directed ……. Klemens von Metternich …..Opening of the Congress of Vienna. It was  intended to redraw the European political map after the defeat of Napoléon the previous spring. Guided by Prince Klemens von Metternich of Austria, (the “Coachman of Europe”), the decisions of the congress would affect Europe and the world to this day.  France was stripped of all territory conquered by Napoleon. The Dutch Republic was united with the Austrian Netherlands to form a single kingdom of the Netherlands under the House of Orange.  Norway and Sweden were united under a single ruler.  Switzerland was declared neutral.  Russia got Finland and effective control over the new kingdom of Poland.  Prussia was given much of Saxony and important parts of Westphalia and the Rhine Province.  Austria was given back most of the territory it had lost and was also given land in Germany and Italy (Lombardia and Venice). Britain got several strategic colonial territories, and they also gained control of the seas.  France was restored under the rule of Louis XVIII.  Spain was restored under Ferdinand VII and Lichtenstein was so small that no one could find it.

            1847–Friday-  The wireless telegraph is not difficult to understand. The ordinary telegraph is like a very long cat. You pull the tail in New York, and it meows in Los Angeles. The wireless is the same, only without the cat…….Albert Einstein……In Berlin, Werner von Siemens designed a needle telegraph that was far superior to the devices that had been used previously. That invention laid the basis for the company Telegraphenbauanstalt Siemens & Halske, which von (he acquired the von in 1888 when he was raised to the nobility) Siemens founded together with mechanic Johann Georg Halske in Berlin on this day Not long after it was founded, it became a leading, internationally active electrical engineering firm that was among the world’s biggest. Siemens' name has been adopted as the SI unit of electrical conductance, the siemens.

            1847-Friday- In my younger days, when I was painted by the half-educated, loose and inaccurate ways women had, I used to say, "How much women need exact science"  But since I have known some workers in science, I have now said, "How much science needs women ……..While Siemens and Halske were busy founding their telegraph company, see above,  Maria Mitchell, the first woman astronomer in the United States discovered a comet. The discovery of a comet wasn't a rare event in the nineteenth century, but women astronomers were very rare. In1865 Mitchell was appointed professor of astronomy and director of the observatory at the newly founded Vassar College.  Before  Mitchell, the only woman to have discovered a comet was Caroline Herschel. Mitchell’s fame as an astronomer rose dramatically after the discovery of the “Miss Mitchell’s comet” in, known today as C/1847 T1.

            1869 –Friday-  Another postcard with chimpanzees
And every one is addressed to me
..Barenaked Ladies….Austria issued the world's first postcards. Austria was the first country to publish the postcard, but not the first to conceive of it.  A few years earlier, German postal official Dr. Heinrich von Stephan submitted a proposal for such an object, which was fiercely debated and not executed in North Germany until July 1870, a year after Austria introduced the card to their country. A copyright on a private postal card had been issued to John P. Charlton of Philadelphia in 1861, and was later transferred to his fellow townsman, H.L. Lipman. The early cards, decorated with a slight border pattern and labeled "Lipman's postal card, patent applied for", were for sale until 1873. The Austrian cards required a postage stamp. And where did one obtain a postage stamp? Thanks to Roland Hill of Great Britain, postage stamps were available.  The philatelic Mr. Hill had created the first postage stamp. On May 6, 1840, the British Penny Black stamp was released. The Penny Black was engraved the profile of Queen Victoria's head, who remained on all British stamps for the next sixty years until she went kaput. And, oh yes, vocabulary fans, postcard collecting is called deltiology.

            1880 –Friday- So many nights I sit by my window
Waiting for someone to sing me his song
So many dreams I kept deep inside me
Alone in the dark but now
You've come along

You light up my life
You give me hope
To carry on
You light up my days
and fill my nights with song ….
Debbie Boone…. The first electric incandescent lamp factory in the U.S. was opened in Menlo Park, N.J. The Edison Lamp Works. This proved to be a very illuminating experience. In 1879, Thomas Edison discovered that a carbon filament in an oxygen-free bulb glowed but did not burn up for 40 hours. Edison eventually produced a bulb that could glow for over 1500 hours.  An electric current passes through a thin filament, heating it until it produces light. The enclosing glass bulb prevents the oxygen in air from reaching the hot filament, which otherwise would be destroyed rapidly by oxidation.

            1890-Wednesday An act (we have gotten so used to their overacting) of Congress created Yosemite National Park, nearly 1,200 square miles of mountainous terrain in the Sierra Nevada of California.It is the home of such natural wonders as Half Dome, Yosemite Sam, “varmints”,  and the giant sequoia trees. Environmental trailblazer John Muir and his colleagues campaigned for the congressional action, which was signed into law by President Benjamin Harrison

            1891-Thursday- Happy Birthday William Boeing, airplane manufacturer. In 1914 Boeing believed he could build a better plane than those currently in the air, he enlisted his engineering friend, George Conrad Westervelt, to design and build the B&W, a twin-float seaplane. Encouraged by this first effort, Boeing decided to begin his own plane-building company, Pacific Aero Products. He renamed it the Boeing Airplane Company the following year.

            1903 –Thursday-  The Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League defeated the Boston Americans of the American League 7-3 in the first official “World Series” game at Huntington Avenue Grounds in Boston, MA Nine years earlier, the two top teams in the National League competed in an experimental post-season championship in which Boston beat Pittsburgh five games to three. Deacon Phillippe pitched a six hitter and right fielder Jimmy Sebring hit the first home run in World Series history. Cy Young was the losing pitcher.  However, the Americans would defeat the Pirates five games to three. In 1908, the Boston players donned red hosiery and played under the name "Red Sox."

            1904-Saturday- We [Frisch and Lise Meitner] walked up and down in the snow, I on skis and she on foot (she said and proved that she could get along just as fast that way), and gradually the idea took shape that this was no chipping or cracking of the nucleus but rather a process to be explained by Bohr's idea that the nucleus was like a liquid drop; such a drop might elongate and divide itself. …….Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/Happy Birthday, Otto Robert Frisch, Austrian-British nuclear physicist, born in Vienna. Frisch, with his aunt, physicist,  Lise Meitner, described the division of neutron-bombarded uranium into lighter elements. He named the process fission.  Yes, he had “gone fission”. During the early 1930s, Adolf Hitler began his campaign of persecution, and Frisch, being a Jew, was forced to abandon his work in Germany and move to Copenhagen. Frisch did further work on fission, collaborating with Rudolph Peierls in confirming Niels Bohr's theory that a chain reaction would be more likely to result with uranium–235 rather than with the more common isotope, uranium–238. After much work Frisch came to the basic conclusion that an “explosive chain reaction” could be produced with a pound or two of uranium–235 rather than the tons of it which he first thought would be necessary. Frisch and Peierls were probably the first two people in the world to be aware of the possibility of a nuclear bomb.  In 1943, along with many other scientists that had been exiled from Germany, Otto Frisch was naturalized and permitted to work for the top-secret Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

            1903 –Thursday-  It's a funny kind of month, October.  For the really keen... fan it's when you discover that your wife left you in May. …Denis Norden…… The Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League defeated the Boston Americans of the American League 7-3 in the first official “World Series” game at Huntington Avenue Grounds in Boston, MA.  Deacon Phillippe pitched a six hitter and right fielder Jimmy Sebring hit the first home run in World Series history. The losing pitcher was Cy Young. The Americans would defeat the Pirates five games to three. In 1908, the Boston players donned red hosiery and played under the name "Red Sox."

            1908 –Thursday- I see a line of cars and they're all painted black….The Rolling Stones….. The Ford Model T car, the first car to be made on an assembly line, was introduced for a price of $825.  This "very special 'Sales Event'  (“we have to clear our showrooms for the 1909 models”)also featured employee equivalent discounts, show rooms filled with happy people looking at cars as if they were sculptures at MoMA,  and manufacturer 'cash-back incentives." Henry Ford is believed to have said “you can paint it any color as long as it’s black”. In the Model T's nineteen years of production, its price dipped as low as $280. Nearly 15,500,000 were sold in the United States alone.

            1910 –Saturday- Bonnie and Clyde got to be public enemy number one
Running and hiding from ev'ry American lawman's gun.
They used to laugh about dyin',
But deep inside 'em they knew
That pretty soon they'd be lyin'
Beneath the ground together
Pushing up daisies to welcome the sun
And the morning dew.
Acting upon reliable information
A fed'ral deputation laid a deadly ambush.
When Bonnie and Clyde came walking in the sunshine
A half a dozen carbines opened up on them.
Bonnie and Clyde, they lived a lot together
And finally together they died,
….Georgie Fame…..Happy Birthday,  Bonnie Parker, American bank robber. Born in Rowena, Texas, she met up with Clyde Barrow in 1930. Together, they led police on a nation-wide crime and killing spree starting in 1932 and ending in 1934 with their deaths. Faye Dunaway played Bonnie Parker in the 1967 movie Bonnie and Clyde with Warren Beatty. The 4’ 11” Bonnie and lover Clyde were toodling along in a stolen car on May 23, 1934 when at approximately 9:00 a.m. a posse, concealed in the bushes waited in ambush. The posse's official report had Clyde stopping to speak with a colleague’s father, planted there with his truck that morning to distract Clyde and force him into the lane closest to the posse, the lawmen opened fire, killing Bonnie and Clyde while shooting a combined total of approximately 130 rounds. By 9:15, the couple were dead.

            1920 –Friday It has been well known for some years that by placing a form of telephone transmitter in a concert hall or at any point where music is being played the sound may be carried over telephone wires to an ordinary telephone receiver at a distant point……….Scientific American reported that radio would soon be used to transmit music to the home.  Scientific American began publication with the August 28, 1845 issue, as a weekly serial.

1924 –Wednesday-  When your leadership is demonstrably weaker than it should be, you don't then point at the people and say, 'It's your problem.' If you want the people to move, you move them the way Roosevelt moved them, or you exhort them the way Kennedy or Johnson exhorted them. You don't say, 'It's your fault.'….Roger Wilkins……..Happy Birthday, James Earl “Jimmy” Carter, born in Plains Ga., the thirty ninth President of the United States.  Carter had the distinction of being the first president to be born in a hospital. He was also, quite possibly, the worst ex-president in history . Notable disasters included; treaties, which essentially  transfered control of the American-built Panama Canal to the nation of Panama, converting great strategic American asset - one that nearly 30,000 men died while constructing it over a decade -- to a corrupt third-world military dictatorship.  Former farmer Carter also also terminated the Russian wheat deal, which was intended to establish trade with USSR and lessen Cold War tensions. This embargo marked the beginning of terrible hardship for American farmers. Boycotting the Olympics over the Russian invasion of Afghanistan was brilliant too.  When Carter took office in 1977, the inflation rate was 5.22%. Four years later it was 11.83%.  Then there was the Iran hostage crisis during which, amongst much hand wringing,  the United States struggled to rescue diplomats and American citizens held hostage in Tehran, paving the way for the rise of Radical Islam now threatening the free world Carter then went on to become America’s worst ex-president, popping up in the media from time to time to criticize his successors’s policies and embarrass the country.

            1936Thursday- One thing that I am sure of, and which I can answer truthfully, is that whatever the contingencies that may arise here, wherever I am there will be no Communism……During the Spanish Civil War, (Republicans(communists) vs. Fascists) General Francisco Franco was named head of the rebel Nationalist government in Spain. When an initial military coup failed to win control of the entire country, a bloody civil war ensued. The Nationalists, as the rebels were called, received aid from Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. The Republicans received aid from the Soviet Union, and many other commounists and sympathizers calling themselves International Brigades. It would take more than two years for Franco to defeat the Republicans in the civil war and become ruler of all of Spain. He subsequently served as dictator until his death in 1975 – his lingering, extended dying process was made even more famous by comedian Chevy Chase on the Saturday Night Live television show, who would announce weekly, “Francisco Franco is still dead.”

1939 Sunday Apollo in 1969. Shuttle in 1981. Nothing in 2011. Our space program would look awesome to anyone living backwards thru time. ….. Neil deGrasse Tyson…….. Happy Birthday, George R. Carruthers, Black-American astrophysicist born in Cincinnati, who was the principal inventor of a new space camera to measure ultraviolet light which can be used to identify interstellar atoms and molecules. Ultraviolet light is the electromagnetic radiation between visible light and x-rays. Carruthers received a patent for his invention the "Image Converter for Detecting Electromagnetic Radiation specially in Short Wave Lengths" on November 11, 1969.   After several years in development, it was taken to the moon on the Apollo 16 mission in 1972. It was then positioned on the moon's surface, the camera could also image the gases of the Earth's atmosphere and Fifi La Boom Boom’s exotic silk handkerchief dance.

            1940 –Tuesday- I'm on a highway to hell
On the highway to hell
Highway to hell
I'm on the highway to hell
No stop signs
Speed limit
Nobody's gonna slow me down
Like a wheel
Gonna spin it
Nobody's gonna mess me 'round
……..AC/DC……..The Pennsylvania Turnpike, often considered the first superhighway in the United States, opened to traffic. It was built on the right of way of a failed railroad construction by William Vanderbilt in 1884. The original roadway was 160 miles long, running from Irwin, just east of Pittsburgh to Middlesex, just west of Harrisburg, Pa. This 160 mile piece of roadway, however, revolutionized automobile travel in the United States. The Pennsylvania Turnpike was the first roadway in the United States that had no cross streets, no railroad crossings, and no traffic lights over its entire length.

         1946-Tuesday- And thus I clothe my naked villany
With odd old ends stol'n out of holy writ,
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil…..
Richard……King Richard III (I, iii, 336-338)  Eleven high-ranking Nazis were sentenced to death by the International War Crimes Tribunal in Nuremberg. Among those condemned to kapution by hanging were Martin Bormann, Party Secretary in absentia, Hans Frank, Gauleiter of Poland since 1939, Wilhelm Frick, Minister for Internal Affairs, Hermann Goering, as Prussian Minister for Internal Affairs created the Secret Police, which later developed into the Gestapo. He was responsible for the mobilization of the economic resources of the Reich for rearmament, Alfred Jodl, Wehrmacht General and advisor of Hitler in strategic and operative matters, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, head of the Security Police (SD). Alfred Rosenberg, Gauleiter for occupied territories in the East; Fritz Sauckel, who orchestrated the forced labor programs in occupied Europe, Wilhelm Keitel, General Field Marshall, Arthur Seyss-lnquart, Gauleiter of the Netherlands; and Julius Streicher, who founded in 1923 the virulently anti-Semitic Nazi weekly newspaper Der Stürmer. Fittingly, their bodies were taken to Dachau where they were cremated. Seven others, including Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler's former deputy, were given prison sentences ranging from 10 years to life. Three others were acquitted.  Hermann Goering committed suicide the day before his planned execution by swallowing a cyanide pill probably smuggled to him by an American guard.  On October 1946, 16 the ten remaining defendants were hanged http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/verdicts.html.

1949 Saturday One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship…..George Orwell……Mao Zedong proclaimed People's Republic of China.  Zedong announced that the new Chinese government will be "under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. Mao's forces were victorious in  the Civil War  and drove the corrupt Nationalist government onto the island of Taiwan. Mao, a member of the Big Three, with Hitler and Stalin, mass murderers of the 20th century, was responsible for the disastrous policies of the 'Great Leap Forward' and the 'Cultural Revolution'.  According to the authoritative Black Book of Communism, an estimated 65 million Chinese died as a result of Mao’s repeated attempts to create a new “socialist” China.

1956 – Monday  Cathy Reno: [Clint has just been shot after defending Vance... Cathy "Kit" Reno rushes to his side and takes him into her arms] Just lie still. Clint Reno: [gasping for breath] Kit... where's Vance? I gotta talk to him.Vance Reno: I'm here, Clint.Clint Reno: [crying] Vance, I didn't mean it! I swear I didn't mean it...Vance Reno: [softly] I know you didn't, Clint. You don't have to tell me. Everything's gonna be all right.Clint Reno: [looks at Kit, then at Vance] Everything's gonna be all right[last lines... gasps, then dies... Kit weeps]……..After the completion of Elvis’ first movie, Love Me Tender, test audiences When test audiences were upset at Elvis' character, Clint Reno, went kaput dying in a shootout in the original ending. The  denouement was quickly rewritten and Elvis called back to reshoot…..although as the International Movie Database tells us; The footage of Elvis Presley singing Love Me Tender at the end was shot after preview audiences reacted badly to his character's fate. This new footage created a continuity error, as Elvis had dyed his hair black by the time of the additional shooting, while in the movie his hair color was closer to blonde

            1957-Tuesday- We ask for forgiveness that for nearly 50 years we didn't find a way of reaching out to you from human being to human being,… We ask that you regard our long silence as a sign of the shock that your fate caused in us …… Harald Stock, Gruenenthal Group's chief executive……… The soon to be infamous drug thalidomide was first marketed in West Germany and shortly sold in at least 46 countries, including the U.S. It was first synthesized in 1953 by Chemie Grünenthal, as a sedative, but it seemed  like a wonder drug for pregnant women to combat symptoms associated with morning sickness. Unfortunately, after thousands of women had taken the medicine, it was found that the drug's  molecules crossed the placental wall, especially during the first trimester, affecting the proper growth of the fetus as the drug interfered with the babies' normal development, causing many of them to be born with phocomelia, resulting in shortened, absent, or flipper-like limbs. A German newspaper soon reported 161 babies were adversely affected by thalidomide, leading the makers of the drug—who had ignored reports of the birth defects associated with the it—to finally stop distribution within Germany. Other countries followed suit and, by March of 1962, the drug was banned in most countries where it was previously sold. Worldwide, over 10,000 babies were born by the early 1960's with substantial birth defects.  Believe it or not…it’s back.  In 1998, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug thalidomide (Thalomid) as a treatment for a severe skin disorder

 1961 –Sunday  When Roger Maris was going for the home run record he would eat only bologna and eggs for breakfast,. Every morning we would have breakfast together at the Stage Deli.  We had the same waitress, and I'd leave her the same five dollar tip every time.  After, I would drive Roger up to the Stadium….. his friend Julie Isaacson …..Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s home-run record with his 61st home run. In the days before ESPN and super hypes, only 23,154 fans were at Yankee Stadium. Maris homered in the bottom of the 4th inning off Tracey Stallard of the Boston Red Sox for the game’s only run. 

1962 –Monday Heeeeeeeerrre's Johnny …..Ed McMahon……….Johnny Carson made his debut as Tonight Show host, broadcast on NBC from New York City.  After hosting “The Tonight Show” 4,531 times for nearly 30 years, Carson appeared for the
 last time on May 22, 1992. Jay Leno took over the next day. First night guests included Tony Bennett, Groucho Marx, Joan  Crawford, Mel Brooks, and Rudy Vallee
1965- Friday Here’s a song that used to sound like that, but now it sounds like this ….Bob Dylan……At a Carnegie Hall concert, Bob Dylan introduced his new backup band. formerly Ronnie Hawkins' backup band, known as the Hawks.
 Eventually, guitarist Robbie Robertson, organist Garth Hudson, bassist Rick Danko, pianist Richard Manuel, and drummer Levon Helm would simply become known as The Band.   This was the after the summer of Dylan’s electric coming out party at the
 Newport Folk Festival and many of his fans were having, shall we say, difficulty with the change so the first half of the show  opened with  a solo acoustic set featuring She Belongs to Me, Gates of Eden and It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue. Audience reports
indicated that you could hear a pin drop during that part of the show. Enter The Band as  they and Dylan took the stage, dressed in tight suits and skinny ties and slammed into an electrified version of I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Have Never Met).
The rest of the show rocked with  Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window, Tombstone Blues and Ballad of a Thin Man, (“Because something is happening here But you don't know what it is Do you, Mister Jones ?”) and  finishing with Like a Rolling Stone
as the closer.
        1974 –Tuesday The film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths, in particular Sally Hardesty and her invalid brother, Franklin. It is all the more tragic in that they were young. 
But, had they lived very, very long lives, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the mad and macabre as they were to see that day. For them an idyllic summer afternoon drive became a nightmare.
The events of that day were to lead to
……..The premiere of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the first of the “Chop ‘em Up”  cinematic genre.  Stop me if you’ve heard this before  but….five friends visiting their grandpa's old house are hunted down and
terrorized by a chainsaw wielding killer and his family of, yes,  grave-robbing cannibals.
Directed by Tobe Hooper, it starred, Marilyn Burns, one of the original “scream queens” – she would also play Linda Kasabian in Helter Skelter. Today in Movie History
 informs us that the movie was titled Blutgericht in Texas (Germany) Non Aprite Quella Porta (Italy),  Massacre A La Tronconneuse (France), Motorsavs-Massakren (Denmark), Masacre De Texas, La (Argentina), and  Matanza De Texas, La (Spain).
At  last count, with considerable body count, movie audiences have been treated to
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III- 1990, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation 1994, The 2003 remake,
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
,  and a prequel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning- 2006. The body count is over fifty.

1982 –Friday-  With technology and everything, compact discs are going to be, like, vintage soon, right? The way vinyl is now. Like, if I ever have kids, they’re going to look at CDs and think, ‘
What is this crap, geez, how clunky.’ By then everyone will have the fiftieth edition of iPods—or maybe they’ll just have music downloaded directly into their brains, like with microchips, or something
……Hannah Harrington…… SONY trotted
out its first Compact Disc player.
 And what, you may ask in the age of streaming and MP3s, is a CD?  A Compact Disc is a 1.2 mm thick polycarbonate plastic disc weighing around 16 grams. To make the surface reflective, a very thin layer of aluminum is applied
on one side of the disc. A film of lacquer is also applied to act as a protective shield. The label is printed on the other side using normal printing methods like offset or screen printing. The label does not work well on home copied CD’s as Professor Sy Yentz has
found that the manually applied labels will gum up a car CD player resulting in a $275 bill for a new one……The data is stored on a CD in form of an array of tiny indentation called pits that are encoded in a spiral track. A pit is just 500 nm wide and 100 nm deep
and the length varies from 850 to 3500 nm. The areas between two pits are called lands. In a technological “putting the cart before the horse”….the first music CD was released two months earlier, in August.  It was The Visitors (1981) by ABBA.
 Despite of this
gross lapse in taste, compact discs went on to huge commercial success.
        1983 –Saturday- Once upon a time I was falling in love
But now I'm only falling apart
There's nothing I can do
A total eclipse of the heart
Once upon a time there was light in my life
But now there's only love in the dark
Nothing I can say
A total eclipse of the heart….Jim Steinman… Bonnie Tyler made her contribution to enhance science knowledge as her song, Total Eclipse of the Heart reached number 1 on the Billboard Charts. People who were heretofore ignorant of the meaning of the word eclipse increased their science vocabulary by one more word.

            2005-Saturday- Vile worm, thou wast o’erlook’d even in thy birth…..Pistol…The Merry Wives of Windsor (5.5.60)…… Islamic terrorist suicide bombers attacked  three restaurants in two tourist areas on the Indonesian island of Bali, a popular resort area. The bombings killed 22 people, including the bombers, and injured more than 50 others. This was the second suicide-bombing incident to rock the island in less than three years. In 2002, Muslim terrorists had set a series of three bombs killed 202 people,
many of them foreign nationals in Bali on vacation, including 88 Australians.

2012 - Monday So all were lost, which in the ship were found,
They in the sea being burnt, they in the burnt ship drown'd….John Donne………….Thirty eight people were  killed in a ferry collision in Hong Kong.  The passenger ferry and a smaller boat collided near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong, causing the smaller vessel to partially sink and killing 38 holiday partygoers, including five children. The large passenger ferry, called the Sea Smooth, was a company boat taking more than 120 employees of Hongkong Electric Co. and their family members to Victoria Harbor to view fireworks celebrating the mid-autumn festival and China's National Day (see 1949 above).

Back to Calendar


1263 –Tuesday- The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft a-gley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!.....
Robert Burns….To a Mouse………War! Scotland vs. Norway and the world trembled. In the battle of Largs, Scottish King Alexander III defeated the Norse army of King Haakon by luring Haakon's fleet far from its bases. He lured  them to come up into the trap of the Firth of Clyde with a promise of vegan Haggis. He held off action until the inevitable friendly ever present Scottish gales forced much of Haakon's fleet on the shore by Largs. Alexander  then attacked and forced Haakon back to sea, and back to his base in Orkney, where he went kaput.   

            1452 –Saturday- An honest tale speeds best, being plainly told. Richard III (Act IV, Scene IV). Happy Birthday,  King Richard III of England.  Poor Richard, whose history was written by Tudor sympathizers, and was immortalized by William Shakepeare as the evil hunchback – Elizabeth Tudor was Queen at the time- has been ill treated by history. Richard was the last Yorkist king of England, whose death at the Battle of Bosworth effectively ended the Wars of the Roses with the victorious Henry Tudor becoming Henry VII.  Richard has become infamous because of the disappearance of his young nephews, the sons (Edward V and Richard) of his brother Edward IV- the “Princes in the Tower” who disappeared after Richard claimed the throne following Edward IV’s going kaput.  Recommended reading – Daughter of Time by Josphine Tey. In February of 2013 Richards skeleton was found under a parking lot in Leicester as  British scientists announced they were convinced "beyond reasonable doubt" that a skeleton found during an archaeological was that of the former king, who was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.Mitochondrial DNA extracted from the bones was matched to Michael Ibsen, a Canadian cabinetmaker and direct descendant of Richard III's sister,

            1535 –Wednesday- Goodbye Broadway, hello Montreal / I’m on my way, I’m on my way / And I’ll make whoop-whoop whoopee night and day…..Irving Berlin…..Jacques Cartier, looking for, surprise, a passage to the East, discovered Montreal, Quebec. Actually, it was an Indian settlement called Hochelaga. Cartier gave it the name of Mount Royal, from the neighboring mountain. He visited the Casino, climbed Mount Royal, complained that everyone spoke a different French than  that spoken in France, and attended a Canadiens hockey game.  The French navigator was  first explorer of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and discoverer of the St. Lawrence River. He made three voyages to the region, in all.

            1608 –Thursday- Who's watching
Tell me, who's watching
Who's watching me ……………
…….Rockwell……The first refracting telescope was demonstrated to the Netherlands States General by Hans Lippershey. As Lippershey described it, "Here’s what you do, you look in this end and it makes stuff that is far away look closer". In 1609, Galileo Galilei learned of Lippershey's device and began constructing his own, eventually increasing the magnification to a factor of 20. He soon discovered the four moons of Jupiter (note: there were A LOT more yet to be discovered.) A refracting  telescope uses a lens to gather and focus light from a distant object. A reflecting telescope uses a mirror to gather and focus light from a distant object.  Lippershey applied to the government of the Netherlands for a patent in 1608. Eventually, the patent was denied. The government thought that the device could not be kept a secret.

            1800 –Thursday- And about this time I had a vision — and I saw white spirits and black spirits engaged in battle, and the sun was darkened – the thunder rolled in the Heavens, and blood flowed in streams – and I heard a voice saying, "Such is your luck, such you are called to see, and let it come rough or smooth, you must surely bear it….Happy Birthday, Nat Turner who led a slave rebellion in 1931. On August 20, 1831, Turner and six other men met in the woods and went to the home of Turner’s master, Joseph Travis. They killed Travis entire family. Then they went house-to-house, killing other whites. In the process, they gained the assistance of fifty to sixty slaves who helped kill at least 55 white people in all .  The rebellion ended when the militia began pursuing Turner and the other slaves. During the pursuit, some slaves were captured and about 15 were hanged. Turner escaped and hid out for about six weeks until he was captured. He was imprisoned, and was sentenced to execution on November 5, 1831. On November 11, 1831, he was hanged and skinned.

             1832-Tuesday- Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died……. Erma Bombeck….Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/Happy Birthday, Julius von Sachs German botanist born in Brelau (Sachs in the City).  He demonstrated the importance of transpiration in plants and the role of chlorophyll.  He also noted He noticed that a plant may display a bending movement called a tropism in response to an outside force. In particular, he observed geotropism (bending caused by gravity), heliotropism (bending caused by light, known today as phototropism), hydrotropism (bending caused by water) and transsexualtropism (bending caused by  confusion over gender). This was the joy of Sachs.

            1836 –Sunday-Woo..
I'm ahead, I'm a man
I'm the first mammal to wear pants, yeah
I'm at peace with my lust
I can kill 'cause in God I trust, yeah
It's evolution, baby
….Pearl Jam…..Charles Darwin returned from his voyage on the HMS Beagle  (see Sept. 16 for Galapagos landing) to the Pacific. He was convinced of the idea that all organisms, including humans, are modified descendents of previously existing forms of life.  Darwin’s ideas developed in two stages: the realization that organisms are not fixed and unchangeable and to provide an explanation of the process of evolutionary change.  It would be 23 years before he published Origin of Species.

            1852-Saturday Helium walks into a bar,
The bar tender says "We don't serve noble gasses in here."
Helium doesn't react.
…………..Co` latha breith sona dhuibh!/ Happy Birthday, Sir William Ramsey, Scottish chemist born in Glasgow, who discovered the "inert " or noble gases; neon, krypton and xenon, and co-discovered argon, radon, calcium and barium. “We have come to praise cesium, not barium”…Professor Sy Yentz….. Ramsay received the 1904 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In a bam bam bam chain reaction of discovery, in 1892 Ramsay investigated  Lord Rayleigh's (John William Strutt ) observation that the density of nitrogen extracted from the air was always greater than nitrogen released from various chemical compounds. Ramsay then searched for an unknown gas in air of greater density, which—when he found it—he named argon. While investigating for the presence of argon in a uranium-bearing mineral, he instead discovered helium, which since 1868 had been known to exist, but only in the sun. This second discovery led him to suggest the existence of a new group of elements in the periodic table. He and his coworkers quickly isolated neon, krypton, and xenon from the earth's atmosphere…..and before you know it, you had OxyClean…..

            1866 –Tuesday - The path of civilization is paved with tin cans…… Elbert Hubbard ……….The tin can with key opener, like you see on sardine cans, coffee cans, and even tea, was patented by J. Osterhoudt in New York City. Note: we’re still working on what his first name was, all references in the Xeroxian world of the internet refer to him as J. He’s even listed as J. on the patent - Method of Openngl.Tin Cans. 58,554. The first tin cans were so thick they had to be hammered open. As thinner cans were manufactured, it became possible to invent dedicated can openers. In 1858, Ezra Warner of Waterbury, Connecticut patented the first can opener.

            1869 --Saturday I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent. ….Janma Divas Mubarak!/Happy Birthday, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi - Mahatma Ghandi, a mensch, and Indian practitioner of passive resistance born in Porbander.  Ghandi was the moving force behind Indian independence from Great Britain. "Mahatma" is a phrase derived from Sanskrit words meaning "great soul." Gandhi was imprisoned in 1922, 1930, 1933 and in 1942. While in prison, he went on a  hunger strike. His fame was such that his death in prison would make international headlines and greatly embarrass the British at a time when Britain was condemning dictators in Europe.  Not good.
So in 1931, Gandhi came to Britain for the Round Table conferences. Nothing was achieved except for the publicity that Gandhi received for dressing in the clothes of an Indian villager; Gandhi saw this type of dress as perfectly normal for a man who represented the Indian people. The British representatives at the conference were more soberly dressed in formal morning dress. In 1945, the British government began negotiations which culminated in the Mountbatten Plan of June 1947, and the formation of the two new independent states of India and Pakistan, divided along religious lines…..well that’s certainly worked out well……… Massive inter-communal violence marred the months before and after independence. Gandhi was opposed to partition, and now fasted in an attempt to bring calm in Calcutta and Delhi
 He was assassinated on January 30, 1948, shot at point-blank range by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu fanatic.

            1886-Saturday- If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile……..Ralph Waldo Emerson…… Happy Birthday, Robert Julius Trumpler, Swiss/American astronomer born in Zurich, who moved to the US in 1915 and worked at the Lick Observatory. In 1922, by observing a solar eclipse, he was able to confirm Einstein's theory relativity. Relativity –all relatives look alike-  “ Yup, now it looks like my Uncle Ernst, and now it looks like Cousin Awilda, and now it looks like my mother-in-law on a bad day… and now……” Trumpler’s most significant discovery and contribution to astronomy, was his investigation of distances, dimensions, and space distribution of galactic open star clusters, among the Trumplers in the clusters were, Miles Davis,Wynton Marsalis, Maynard Ferguson, James Stamp, Rafael Mendez, Thomas Stevens, Phil Smith, Freddie Hubbard, Clifford Brown, and  Dizzy Gillespie. This work also contained a table of 37 new open clusters, now known as the Trumpler catalog. Moreover, from these studies, Trumpler discovered the interstellar extinction; this effect has significant impact on distance estimates and considerable effect on the distance scale of the Milky Way and the universe.

            1890 –Thursday-  Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. ……..Happy Birthday, Juliius “ Groucho” Marx, American comedian and actor born, he claimed, in a butcher shop on 78th street in Manhattan.  Groucho, who deviated from the Marxist-Leninist orthodoxy, played the grease paint mustached, cigar-chomping leader of a foursome of brothers, alternately dispensing humorous invective and puns while acting as exasperated straight man for his brothers' loonacy; Chico (Leonard), the pun-happy Italian;  Harpo (Adolph), the non-speaking, madman; and Gummo (Milton) (later replaced by Zeppo –Herbert-), the hopelessly lost straight man in some of the funniest movies ever made; A Night at the Opera, Duck Soup, Horse Feathers, A Day at the Races, The Cocanuts, and Animal Crackers. “Last night I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I’ll never know”.  Your eyes, your eyes, they shine like the pants of a blue serge suit. That’s not a reflection on you—it’s on the pants.” Marx became a solo success when he hosted the game show You Bet Your Life on radio and television from 1947-1961. In 1974 he received a special Academy Award for lifetime achievement.

            1895 –Wednesday….. Abbott: Well Costello, I'm going to New York with you. You know Bucky Harris, the Yankee's manager, gave me a job as coach for as long as you're on the team.
Costello: Look Abbott, if you're the coach, you must know all the players.
Abbott: I certainly do.
Costello: Well you know I've never met the guys. So you'll have to tell me their names, and then I'll know who's playing on the team.
Abbott: Oh, I'll tell you their names, but you know it seems to me they give these ball players now-a-days very peculiar names.
Costello: You mean funny names?
Abbott: Strange names, pet names...like Dizzy Dean...
Costello: His brother Daffy.
Abbott: Daffy Dean...
Costello: And their French cousin.
Abbott: French?
Costello: Goofè.
Abbott: Goofè Dean. Well, let's see, we have on the bags, Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know is on third...
Costello: That's what I want to find out.
Abbott: I say Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know's on third.
Costello: Are you the manager?
Abbott: Yes.
Costello: You gonna be the coach too?
Abbott: Yes.
Costello: And you don't know the fellows' names?
Abbott: Well I should.
Costello: Well then who's on first?
Abbott: Yes.  ……….
Happy Birthday, William Alexander “ Bud “ Abbott, American comedian and actor born in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Known as the straight man for partner, Lou Costello,  in 1931 while working as a cashier at the Brooklyn Theater, he substituted for comic Lou Costello's ill straight-man. The two formed their famous comedy team and, through the 1930s, they worked burlesque, minstrel shows, vaudeville and movie houses. In 1938 they got national exposure through the Kate Smith Hour radio show, and signed with Universal the next year for their film debut in One Night in the Tropics (1940). Their 1941 movie Buck Privates (1941), with The Andrews Sisters, grossed what was then a company record $10 million, and in 1942 they topped a poll of Hollywood stars. Of course Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein is the favorite of the Editorial Board of the Gnus but we also liked, Time of Their Lives and Whodunit.  They had their own radio show (ABC, 1941-6, NBC, 1946-9) and TV show in1952. A good straight man is hard to find……Lou Costello.

            1906-Tuesday Why should we try for space travel? It cannot be a substance of any kind that can be expected to pay. It can only be something intangible, not involving haulage, which is at the same time more valuable. There is something like that: Knowledge ……..Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! /Happy Birthday, Willy Ley, German-American engineer born in Berlin.  Ley was a founder of the German Rocket Society. The society was the first group of men (with the sole exception of Robert Goddard) to experiment with rockets. Ley even got  Wernher von Braun into the society. Ley was consultant for the science fiction film Frau im Mond in which the countdown from ten to zero was introduced. He was vehemently anti-Nazi, unlike Von Braun, and in 1934, he emigrated to the U.S. rather than cooperate with the development of rockets for military applications for the Nazis.  In the U.S., he became a popularizer of space exploration and travel, writing many popular books such as The Conquest of Space and Beyond the Solar System. As an early advocate of space travel, Willy Ley helped usher in the rocket age.

            1908 –Friday- Joss sort of hid the ball on you. One moment, you'd be squinting at a long graceful windup and the next instant, out of nowhere, the ball was hopping across the plate -- and a lot of us standing flat-footed with our bats glued to our shoulders!........Bobby Wallace ……Cleveland Indians (then called the Naps) pitcher, Addie Joss pitched a perfect game beating the Chicago White Sox  and future Hall of Famer, Ed Walsh, 1-0. This was the second perfect game – 27 men up….27 men out, the first was pitched by Cy Young. Joss had the shortest career of any player in the Hall of Fame playing only nine seasons, all with Cleveland.   During spring training of 1911, Joss fainted on the field in an exhibition game. He shrugged the incident off initially. Within a week, however, Joss was hospitalized with tubercular meningitis, and on April 14, 1911, he died.

            1917 –Tuesday- Lysosomes And peroxisomes and liddle lamzy divey A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you? ….apologies to Johnny Mercer……….Bon Anniversaire/Happy Birthday, Christian René de Duve, Belgian cytologist and biochemist who discovered lysosomes and peroxisomes. Lysosomes are the cells' garbage disposal system. They degrade the products of injestion.  Peroxisomes are organelles that contain oxidative enzymes. They may resemble a lysosome, however, they are not formed in the Golgi complex. Peroxisomes are self replicating, like the mitochondria or a Kardashian. de Duve shared the 1974 Nobel Prize for Medicine, with Albert Claude and George Palade

     1919-Thursday- During this period no proclamations were issued, no pardons granted, bills became laws without a signature. The regular meetings of cabinet members gave the country the impression that some matters were being dealt with. They sat, these lieutenants who had once gathered around a formidable chief, discussing for the most part trivial matters, and even then were often unable to make decisions…...August Hechscher………..President Woodrow Wilson, who had just cut short a tour of the country to promote the formation of the League of Nations and his new album, Woodrow Wilson Sings the Best of The Carpenters, suffered a near fatal stroke. Wilson had collapsed in Pueblo Colorado after traveling 8,000 miles in 22 days.  He returned to Washington and suffered a transient ischemic attack, the prelude to a major stroke, an occlusion of the right middle cerebral artery, which occurred at the White House on October 2, felling him to the floor of his bathroom, paralyzing his left side and rendering him essentially incompetent. While the President’s apoplexy left him physically incapacitated but his condition was not made public. Bossy second wife, Edith Wilson jealously guarded her husband, and later claimed that his resignation would sap his will to live. To her he was "first my beloved husband whose life I was trying to save ... after that he was the president of the United States." Yeah, sure. As a result, his Cabinet members were denied access to him..  Vice President Thomas C. Marshall of Indiana would have become President on Wilson’s resignation. The process for declaring a President incapacitated was at that time unclear, and Marshall was fearful of the precedent that might be set in establishing one The country was virtually leaderless (sort of like the Jimmy Carter administration) until the inauguration of Warren G. Harding in 1921. Wilson hung on until February 3, 1924

            1925 – Friday I bought a bourgeois house in the Hollywood hills
With a truckload of hundred thousand dollar bills
Man came by to hook up my cable TV
We settled in for the night my baby and me
We switched 'round and 'round 'til half-past dawn
There was fifty-seven channels and nothin' on
Fifty-seven channels and nothin' on
Fifty-seven channels and nothin' on
……….Bruce Springsteen

- John Logie Baird of Scotland conducted the first test of the working television system.  Baird and American Clarence W. Hansell patented the idea of using arrays of transparent rods to transmit images for television and facsimiles respectively. Baird's 30 line images were the first demonstrations of  television by reflected light rather than back-lit silhouettes.  His 1928 trans-Atlantic transmission of the image of a human face was a broadcasting milestone. Color television, in1928, stereoscopic television and television by infra-red light were all demonstrated by Baird before 1930. The credit as to who was the inventor of modern television really comes down to three different people in three different places both working on the same problem at about the same time: In addition to Baird, Vladimir Kosma Zworykin, a Russian-born American inventor working for Westinghouse, and Philo Taylor Farnsworth, a privately backed farm boy from the state of Utah. “Zworykin had a patent, but Farnsworth had a picture…” Zworykin is usually credited as being the father of modern television. This was because the patent for the heart of the TV, the electron scanning tube, was first applied for by Zworykin in 1923, under the name of an iconoscope. Farnsworth was the first of the two inventors to successfully demonstrate the transmission of television signals, which he did on September 7, 1927. So YOU figure out who invented television.

            1945-Tuesday - A long, long time ago...
I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And, maybe, they’d be happy for a while.
Happy Birthday, Don McLean born in New Rochelle, New York and writer/singer of one the greatest, most often played, frequently quoted, lengthy single records of all time….American Pie.  McLean graduated from Iona Prep in 1963, and briefly attended Villanova University, dropping out after four months he demonstrated his intelligence and good taste by attending Iona College in New Rochelle (the alma mater of Professor Sy Yentz). Obviously Iona taught him everything he would need to know. 

1950 –Monday- Oh yes, I'm at my happiest when I have a good idea and I'm drawing it well, and it comes out well and somebody laughs at it. ……Charles M. Schulz's comic strip Li'l Folks was accepted by United Features Syndicate, re-christened Peanuts (which Schulz didn’t like)and debuted in seven newspapers - The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Minneapolis Tribune, The Allentown Call-Chronicle, The Bethlehem Globe-Times, The Denver Post and The Seattle Times. The very first strip was four panels long and showed Charlie Brown walking by two other young children, Shermy and Patty. (Snoopy was the also an early character in the strip, but he did not appear in the very first one.) Most of the other characters that eventually became the main characters of Peanuts did not appear until later: Schroeder (May 1951), Lucy (March 1952), Linus (September 1952), Pigpen (July 1954), Sally (August 1959), “Peppermint” Patty (August 1966), Woodstock (April 1967), Marcie (June 1968), and Franklin (July 1968

            1956- Tuesday ……Yes time, time, time is on my side, yes it is
Time, time, time is on my side, yes it is
Oh, time, time, time is on my side, yes it is
I said, time, time, time is on my side, yes it is
Oh, time, time, time is on my side
Yeah, time, time, time is on my side
……The Rolling Stones

The first atomic clock in the United States, the Atomicron, started ticking, well they don’t actually tick,  at the Overseas Press Club in New York City. The basis of the timing was the constant frequency of the oscillations of the caesium atom - 9,192,631,830 MHz. It was priced at $50,000. It came with a snooze control, 30 preset stations, sound effects such as “tropic rain forest”, “gentle breeze”, and “toilet flushing” . An atomic clock is a very precise clock that operates using the elements Caesium or Rubidium. We have come to praise  Caesium, not Barium …..the  clock has an error of one second per million years.

            1959-Friday- You're traveling through another dimension -- a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's a signpost up ahead: your next stop: the Twilight Zone The premier episode on CBS (Friday nights at 10:00) of The Twilight Zone, the anthology series of weirdness hosted by Rod Serling. In this first episode, Mike Ferris (Earl Holliman – Sundance in the series Hotel D’Paree, and co-star with Angie Dickenson in Police Woman) finds himself in a town strangely devoid of people. But despite the emptiness, he has the odd feeling that he's being watched... This is the original 1959 series, not the CBS The Twilight Zone (1985) version nor the dumbed down UPN The Twilight Zone (2002) version. The last original episode aired on June 1, 1964. Rod Serling, wrote over eighty five episodes.  

            1961 –Monday-  There's a story I want you to know
'bout my baby how I love him so.
There's no other like my baby no no no no.
(Now I say now)
There's no other, don't mean maybe no no no no.
Walkin' down the street in a crowd
Looking at my baby feeling so proud.
Wo ho ho, There's no other like my baby no no no no
. ……The first single released by Phil Spector’s (“wall of sound”) eponymously named, Phillies Records was The Crystals, There’s No Other Like My Baby. Next would come He’s a Rebel and Uptown….on which Spector used Darlene Love and the Blossoms billed as the Crystals.

 1962 –Tuesday- …….But it was, as I receiv'd it
—and others, whose judgments in such matters cried in the top of
mine—an excellent play, well digested in the scenes, set down
with as much modesty as cunning
Hamlet Act 2, scene 2, 431–440 Hereeeeeeerse Johnny!.  Johnny Carson made his debut has host of the Tonight Show on NBC.  Six months after Jack Paar made a rather stormy departure from The Tonight Show (over jokes about Communism, among other issues) and viewers enduring a succession of "substitute" hosts (and an ill-fated attempt at a magazine-type show), NBC finally settle on a permanent host. Opening night guests were Joan Crawford, Rudy Vallee and The Phoenix Singers. Carson would continue has host until May 22, 1992.

            1965 –Saturday Sloopy lives in a very bad part of town
and everybody else, tries to put my sloopy down
Sloopy I don't care, what your daddy do
Cuz you know sloopy, girl, I'm inlove with you
and so I say now
Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on
Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on……
.The McCoys
.... Beethoven’s Ninth?, Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue? All pale musically to the genius of the McCoys’ Hang on Sloopy (lead singer Rick Derringer)which reached number 1 on the Billboard Charts on this day replacing former New Christy Minstrel, Barry McGuire’s Eve of Destruction.  Sloopy would in turn be knocked from the top spot by the Beatles’ Yesterday.

            1968-Wednesday- Wild rivers are earth's renegades, defying gravity, dancing to their own tunes, resisting the authority of humans, always chipping away, and eventually always winning. …….Richard Bangs & Christian Kallen………The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was passed by congress.  It established a National Wild and Scenic Rivers System and prescribed the methods and standards through which additional rivers would be identified and added to the system. The Act authorized the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to study areas and submit proposals to the President and Congress for addition to the system.  The act was sponsored by Sen. Frank Church of Idaho and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Thus far, a total of 156 rivers have wild and scenic status.

            1968 – Wednesday Taxi driver: That's $2.95, including the luggage. Coogan: Tell me, how may stores are there named Bloomingdales in this town?Taxi driver: One, why?
Coogan: We passed it twice. Taxi driver: It's still $2.95, including the luggage. Coogan: Yeah, well there's $3.00, including the tip.
The premiere of Don Siegel’s Coogan’s Bluff starring Clint Eastwood, three years removed from Spaghetti Westerns. The typical “fish out of water” plot involved  Clint as an Arizona deputy going to New York City to escort a fugitive – the great Don Stoud, who, in this and other roles, perfected the art of psycho villain- back into custody. Lee J. Cobb and Susan Clarke were along for the fun. Don Siegel even made an appearance as an elevator passenger.  The movie idea was later homogenized as a television series, McCloud, starring Dennis Weaver.

1978 –Monday When I hit the ball, I knew that I had hit it high enough to hit the wall. But there were shadows on the net behind the wall and I didn't see the ball land there. I didn't know I had hit a homer until I saw the umpire at first signaling home run with his hand. I couldn't believe it. …..At Fenway Park, the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 in a one game play off.  Light hitting shortstop Bucky Dent’s three run home run provided the margin of victory giving the Yankees a 4-2 lead in the 7th inning.  Reggie Jackson’s home run in the 8th inning provided the insurance as the Red Sox scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 8th.  Ron Guidry got the win for the Yankees.

1985 –Wednesday Can we watch one-quarter of some countries' people die? Can 27 million orphans be left to fend for themselves? We may not be able to solve the entire problem today, but let us not be discouraged from taking the steps necessary to begin the journey. ……118 bishops of the Episcopal Church, to President Bush and the US Congress, June 2001….. Rock Hudson kaput. Born Leroy Harold Scherer Jr., on November 17, 1925, in Winnetka, Illinois, was a Hollywood heartthrob – short on acting ability  - whose career in movies and TV spanned nearly three decades. Homosexuals were not looked on kindly in the Hollywood of the 1950s 60’s and 70’s. Hudson covered up with a pseudo marriage to his secretary in 1955. It lasted three years.  In 1984 he was diagnosed with AIDS.

2002 – Wednesday- Thou lump of foul deformity!  …Lady Anne….Richard III, Act I, Scene 2……..The Beltway sniper attacks began, extending over three weeks. The Beltway Sniper attacks took place over three weeks, in which ten people were killed and three other critically injured by, as it turned out, Muslim terrorists in and around Washington D.C, stretching across the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. On October 24, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo were arrested at a highway rest area. Malvo would later testify that Muhammad, driven by hatred of America because of its “slavery, hypocrisy and foreign policy” and his belief that “the white man is the devil”, planned to kill six whites a day for 30 days although they ultimately decided on diversity and killed indiscriminately.  The attacks were carried out with a Bushmaster XM-15 semiautomatic .223 caliber rifle, the civilian equivalent of the U.S. military's M-16 assault rifle, at a range of 50 to over 100 yards. The rifle came from Bull's Eye Shooter Supply in Tacoma, Washington, which did not report the missing rifle, as required by federal law.

2006 –Monday- Thou mis-shapen dick!……Prince of Wales…..Henry VI, Part 3…  Scene 5…..And while we’re on the subject of senseless, brutal murders of innocents, five school girls were murdered by Charles Carl Roberts in a shooting at an Amish school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. Sparing the government the expense of a trial and sob stories of why he became a homicidal maniac, Roberts committed suicide.  The gunman carried three firearms -- a shotgun, a semiautomatic pistol and a rifle, plus a stun gun, two knives and a bag holding 600 rounds of ammunition.

Back to Calendar


52 BC – Thursday Galia est pacata. (Gaul is subdued)……..Julius Caesar…….Vercingetorix, leader of the Gauls, surrendered to Julius Caesar and his Roman legions ending the siege and Battle of Alesia ….which may have been near current day Dijon.  The Editorial Board of the Gnus thinks Vercingetorix is a really cool name and in the absence of pets at home, we have named our GPS Vercingetorix.  There were long term effects to this victory, not so good for Vercingetorix but it would alter Caesars’s future.  This was a great personal success for Caesar, the Roman Senate declared twenty days of thanksgiving for the victory but refused him the a triumphal parade through Rome….an insult.  As a result, political tensions in Rome continued to build which ultimately led to a civil war.  Vercingetorix was imprisoned in the Tullianum at Rome for five years before being publicly beheaded as part of Caesar's eventual triumph in 46 BC. Two years later, Caesar, himself, was kaput.

42 BC – Friday – Caesar, now be still. / I killed not thee with half so good a will…..Brutus…..Julius Caesar……. Act 5, scene 5….10 years after Alesia (see above) and with Caesar kaput, came the first Battle of Philippi – the 2nd would occur later in the month on the 23rd.  Triumvirs Mark Antony and Octavian (Marcus Aemilius Lepidus  was left in Rome to guard the store) won a decisive battle with Caesar's assassins Brutus and Cassius. Following the assassination of Julius Caesar, two of the principle conspirators, Brutus and Cassius fled Rome and took control of the eastern provinces. At one point Brutus and Cassius were actually winning the battle.  Miscommunication led Cassius to believe they were losing so he kaputed himself.  Meanwhile Brutus was still winning.  Howeve after putting Octavian’s troops to rout, his men stopped to loot their supplies.  This allowed Octavian’s boys to regroup.  Things went downhill from there and Brutus too, committed suicide by having a soldier hold his sword and then running into it.

1226 –Saturday- Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that have received--only what you have given……The death of St. Francis of Assisi (Giovanni Bernadone). He was 45 years old and had been preaching (and living the life he preached) for twenty years. In his life and preaching, Francis emphasized simplicity and poverty, relying on God's providence rather than worldly goods. The supporters worked or begged for what they needed to live, and any surplus was given to the poor. Francis was canonized by Gregory IX less than two years later on July 16, 1228. His feast day is celebrated on October 4. But wait…………there’s more!  We’ve also seen this and Sept. 26 as his birthday. Herewith, our 9/26 entry- 1181 – Saturday (1182?- Sunday?) -      Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance. Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor vexation. Where there is poverty and joy, there is neither greed nor avarice. Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt……The Counsels of the Holy Father St. Francis, Admonition 27 …….And now we’ve seen the date shift to October 3 according to the Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)… but anyway, Buon Compleanno! Happy Birthday, Saint Francis (Francesco) of Assisi, born Giovanni Bernardone,  Italian founder of the Franciscan Order. Born to a wealthy family, Francis had a dream in which he believed that God was calling him to repair his church and interpreted this to mean that he was to repair the church in San Damiano near Assisi. Francis was soon to renounce all of his possessions and his family treasures including his clothes - a decision which, understandably,  disturbed his family deeply. Francis as a beggar, he was joined by companions who were called brothers. They rebuilt the church of San Damiano and traveled throughout central Italy preaching for people to turn from materialism to Christ. Francis personified the true meaning of Christianity.

1283 Sunday Open your eyes, Clevinger. It doesn't make a damned bit of difference who wins the war to someone who's dead……Joseph Heller, Catch 22……….Dafydd ap Gruffydd, prince of Gwynedd in Wales became the first nobleman to have the dubious distinction to be executed by hanging, drawing and quartering. Dafydd had incurred the wrath of King Edward I of England by first joining Edward to battle his brother, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, aka Llywelyn the Last,  and then turning on Edward.  Not such a good idea. When captured, Dafydd was dragged through the streets of Shrewsbury attached to a horse’s tail. He was then hanged, but not enough to kill him because there was more in store.  Starting with the emasculation. He was then disemboweled and his entrails burned before his eyes, if they were open at this point. Then they cut off his head so he was unaware that they then cut off his limbs. Just to top things off so to speak, they parboiled his head for later viewing. Edward would to this to William Wallace too.

            1613 –Thursday- Smokin' in the boys' room
Smokin' in the boys' room
Now, teacher, don't you fill me up with your rules
But everybody knows that smokin' ain't allowed in school
……Brownsville Station….Tobacco was first successfully harvested for export by John Rolfe of the Jamestown Colony.  This variety, which seemed “smoother” than any other that England had ever tasted, became wildly popular. By 1614 Virginia had entered the world trade market protected under English laws. By 1620 tobacco was being used as currency in Virginia, a trade option that endured for two centuries Rolfe was also the future husband of Pocahontas.  

            1803-Monday- Never pride yourself on knowledge. Remember; even a head of iceberg lettuce knows more than you do. It knows whether or not that light really does go out when the refrigerator door shuts. …….Unknown……….Happy Birthday, John Gorrie, American physician and early trailblazer in the invention of the artificial manufacture of ice, refrigeration, and air conditioning. While he was a Naval officer stationed at Apalachicola Florida he needed ice to treat malaria patients with fever. He reasoned, fairly correctly, that  people living in cold climates never got malaria ( Prof. Sy Yentz suggests that perhaps they froze to death first) He built a small steam engine that drew heat from the brine. The chilled brine was used to cool air or make ice. He was granted the first U.S. Patent for mechanical refrigeration in 1851 and those are the Gorrie details.

            1830 –Sunday - The internal combustion engine, one of the greatest technological advancements in history, has an unfortunate downside, namely air pollution so thick that, very soon, sixty-four packs of crayons will include the color Sky Brown…Cuthbert Soup …….Happy Birthday, George Brayton, U.S. mechanical engineer and pioneer in the development of internal combustion engines. Braydon invented the continuous ignition combustion engine that later became the basis for the turbine engine.  The Patent Office identified George Brayton's 1872, 2-cycle engine as a hot-air engine that ran quietly with petroleum fuel. The Brayton Cycle became the basis for all gas turbine engines and he is believed to have manufactured the first gas turbines commercially in Providence, Rhode Island. For a while his hot air engine became the preferred engine of the American auto industry. You can see a  Brayton  Engine  in the Smithsonian in the American History museum, and a later Brayton engine which powered one of John Holland's early submarines is preserved in the Great Falls Museum in Paterson, New Jersey. Inventor George Selden later developed a combustion engine that he admitted was influenced by Brayton's work and was the basis of a lawsuit that went on for years. Ultimately, Brayton’s 2 stroke engine would be superseded by German Nicholas August Otto’s 4 stroke engine.

            1844-Thursday Parasite lady
Parasite eyes
Parasite lady
No need to cry
…….Kiss………..Co` latha breith sona dhuibh!/ Happy Birthday, Sir Patrick Manson, Scottish parasitologist, born in Old Meldrum, Aberdeenshire. In the long list of scientific “fathers”, see our “Who’s Your Daddy” http://sciencegnus.com/Who's%20Your%20Daddy.html …..Manson was the "father of tropical  medicine." His greatest achievement was to demonstrate conclusively what had long been suspected, namely, that certain diseases are transmitted by insects. His first success, in 1877, was to link the mosquito Culex fatigans with the presence of the parasite Filaria sanguinis hominis (FSH) in many of his patients suffering from elephantiasis. He also linked space born parasites to the formation of reality television people.

            1863 –Saturday- We're having something a little different this year for Thanksgiving. Instead of a turkey, we're having a swan. You get more stuffing. …..George Carlin………..Three months after the victory at Gettysburg, in an expression of gratitude for the crucial Union Army defeat of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, President Abraham Lincoln announced that the nation would celebrate an official Thanksgiving holiday on November 26, 1863. The speech, which was actually written by Secretary of State William Seward, declared that the fourth Thursday of every November thereafter would be considered an official U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving. During the 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt, with an eye on retail sales, tried to move it to the 3rd Thursday in November but changed it back to the 4th Thursday in 1941 following pressure from Congress.

            1895 –Thursday- He had burned several times to enlist. Tales of great movements shook the land. They might not be distinctly Homeric, but there seemed to be much glory in them. He had read of marches, sieges, conflicts, and he had longed to see it all. His busy mind had drawn for him large pictures extravagant in color, lurid with breathless deeds. ..The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane, was published in book form. The story of a young man's experience of battle – Chancellorsville- was the first American novel to portray the Civil War from the ordinary soldier's point of view. The tale originally appeared as a serial published by a newspaper syndicate. The book is almost entirely a product of his imagination. When he wrote The Red Badge of Courage, Crane had neither fought in war nor witnessed battle, and relied on his creativity as a writer to create the extraordinarily realistic combat sequences of the novel. His work proved so accurate that, at the time of the book’s publication, most critics assumed that Crane was an experienced soldier. Crane contracted tuberculosis and died  in June 1900 at the age of twenty eight.

1899 –Tuesday-  Spaghetti can be eaten most successfully if you inhale it like a vacuum cleaner.,,,,Sophia Loren……The motor-driven vacuum cleaner was patented by J.S. Thurman of St. Louis, Mo. The vacuum cleaner had been patented by inventor Ives McGaffey who called it a  "sweeping machine" on June 8 1869. This was the first patent for a device that cleaned rugs. Thurman started a horse drawn (door to door service) vacuum system His vacuuming services were priced at $4 per visit He invented his gasoline powered vacuum cleaner, earlier in 1899 and some historians consider it the first motorized vacuum cleaner. Yes, this business truly sucked.

 1906-Wednesday-  So when you're near me, darling can't you hear me
S. O. S.
The love you gave me, nothing else can save me
S. O. S.
When you're gone
How can I even try to go on?
When you're gone
Though I try how can I carry on?......
second international conference on wireless telegraphy in Berlin adopted SOS as the official international distress signal, replacing the catchy call sign CQD developed by the Marconi Wireless Company in 1904. Other suggestions such as OH  DAMN !, WHOOPS!, and ARGGH! were all rejected.

            1910-Monday-  If vaudeville had died, television was the box they put it in……Larry Gelbart ……….British comedians Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel arrived in the United States on tour with Fred Carno’s famous British vaudeville company. Chaplin played the role of a drunk in the groups key comedy skit. Laure, then known as Arthur Jefferson, was his understudy.  Both Chaplin and Laurel later became silent film stars. Chaplin became a superstar comedian, actor and director. He also, “borrowed”  many Karno gags and situations for his films. Laurel teamed up with American Oliver Hardy briefly in 1919 and famously in 1926.

            1916-Tuesday-  I think we're alone now,
There does't seem to be anyone around.
I think we're alone now,
The beating of our hearts is the only sound
.Tommy James and the Shondells….Happy Birthday, James Francis (Frank)  Pantridge, Irish cardiologist who developed the life-saving portable defibrillator. Pantridge posited that death occurred within the first hour for 60% of males (up to middle-age) that suffered a heart attack, and of these, 90% suffered ventricular fibrillation. To begin earliest possible treatment, in 1965, Pantridge equipped an ambulance with a portable defibrillator. It achieved a 50% long-term patient survival rate.  Defibrillators, are used to apply an electric shock to the chest to overcome ventricular fibrillation, a typically fatal irregular rhythm of the heart.  Dr. Claude Beck in the 1940′s at University Hospitals of Cleveland developed the first defibrillator. In the 1890s, Jean-Louis Prévost and Frederic Batelli, two physiologists at the University of Geneva, had  revived animals as well as Boris Karloff,  with a capacitor discharge delivered directly to the heart.

            1922-Tuesday- Boss: “Do you know anything about this fax-machine?”
Employee: “A little. What’s wrong sir?”
Boss: “Well, I sent a fax, and the recipient called back to say all she received was a blank page. I tried it again, and the same thing happened.”
Employee: “How did you load the sheet?”
Boss: “I didn’t want anyone else to read it by accident, so I folded it so only the recipient would open it and read it.” ……..
The first fax was faxed as city telephone lines were used for the  transmission of a facsimile photo in Washington, DC. Charles F. Jenkins sent an image (Note: the fax was invented in 1843 by Alexander Bain of Scotland – yes before the invention of the telephone but after the invention of the telegraph) from 1519 Connecticut Ave to the U.S. Navy Radio Station NOF at Anacostia, D.C. The fax, a photo of  either exotic dancer Babette La Touche or President Calvin Coolidge.

            1922 –Tuesday- when the women of the country come in and sit with you . . . you will get ability, you will get integrity of purpose, you will get exalted patriotism, and you will get unstinted usefulness ….Rebecca Felton to the Senate………Same day as the first fax, Rebecca L. Felton, D-Ga., became the first woman member of the U.S. Senate. She was appointed, by Governor Thomas Hardwick to serve out the remaining term of the  recently kaput Sen. Thomas E. Watson. Hardwick was in deep doo doo with women, having opposed the 19th amendment giving them the right to vote.  He had designs on the deceased Watson’s senate seat and with  Congress in recess and not scheduled to reconvene until after the Georgia election, he could afford to appoint a woman to the vacant seat until a successor was elected, thus extending an "olive branch" to the women whose votes he would need in the coming election. Hardwick's first choice was Watson’s widow after she declined, the governor appointed the 87 year old Felton.  Hardwick ran unsuccessfully for election to the Senate in 1922 and 1924.

            1941-Friday- Silly String is not a nasal spray …..Bart Simpson……The first aerosol can used in a commercial application was patented. It had been invented by two U.S. Dept. of Agriculture researchers, a chemist and an entomologist, L.D. Goodhue and W.N. Sullivan. They were looking for a way to apply oil-free insecticides in mushroom houses. Weren’t we all? The mushrooms, who had moved from a 3-bedroom condo to a split level ranch in Levittown, L.I were having trouble with ants.  Mr. Mushroom reportedly said, “now I’m a fungi but this is going too far”. It was Goodhue and Sullivan’s  design that made products like hair spray possible.  In 1837, Parisian Antoine Perpigna invented a soda siphon incorporating a valve. Metal spray cans were being tested as early as 1862. They were constructed from heavy steel and were too bulky to be commercially successful. In 1899, inventors Helbling and Pertsch patented aerosols pressurized using methyl and ethyl chloride as propellants.  The first aerosol can was patented on November 23, 1927 by engineer Erik Rotheim

1941- Friday, Come on baby
Let's do the twist
Come on baby
Let's do the twist
Take me by my little hand
And go like this
Ee-yah twist
Baby, baby twist
Ooh yeah, just like this
Come on little miss and do the twist
……….Happy Birthday, Chubby Checker, born Ernest Evans in Spring Gulley, South Carolina. Inspired by Fats Domino, he was dubbed Chubby Checker by Dick Clark’s wife, after rejecting the cognomens of  Pudgy Pawn, Distended Dice, and  Blimpy Baltic Avenue. Checker’s first single, The Class, was one of those late 50s/early 60’s record that referenced other songs or singers (When Those Oldies Play We Listen), and it was quite clever with Chubby channeling, Fats Domino, the Coasters, Elvis, and even the Chipmunks,  singing Mary Had a Little Lamb.  In 1960, however, he recorded The Twist, a cover of a 1958 Hank Ballard & the Midnighters B-side. The record soared  to number one during the autumn of 1960, remaining on the charts for four months. And then, like Michael Myers in the Halloween movies, it was back. In late 1961 it hit number one again; the only record ever to enjoy two stays at the top more than a year apart and this time it launched The Twist craze.  Checker returned to the top in 1961 with Do the Pony; that same year, he also reached the Top Ten with Let's Twist Again.  In addition to 1961's The Fly, Checker's other Top Ten hits included Slow Twistin' (with Dee Dee Sharp of Mashed Potatoes – another dance-fame) Limbo Rock, and Popeye the Hitchhiker. Milking it to the last drop, he even starred in a pair of feature films, Twist Around the Clock and Don't Knock the Twist.

1944 –Tuesday-  Why a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five….Groucho Marx…….Bon Anniversaire/Happy Birthday, Pierre René Deligne, Belgian mathematician who was awarded the Fields Medal ( which is the mathematics equivalent of the Nobel Prize except it’s named for John Charles Fields) at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Helsinki, Finland, in 1978 for his work in algebraic geometry. Deligne’s work originated with André Weil's ideas on polynomial equations which led to three questions on what properties of a geometric object can be determined purely algebraically. These three problems quickly became major research challenges to mathematicians. A solution of the three Weil conjectures was given by Deligne. We like to put in these items (this, thanks to Today in Science History) because we have no idea what they mean but you’d have to be like, have a ginormous brain and be like totally smart to like, you know, understand what it totally means because it’s, it’s, it’s just sooooo amazing that it’s crazy.

1947-Friday-  I've never owned a telescope, but it's something I'm thinking of looking into ……George Carlin……..After 11 years of grinding and polishing, the  200-inch diameter telescope lens for the Mount Palomar Observatory was completed at the California Institute of Technology. This lens, the first 200 “incher” to be made in the U.S., originated with 20 tons of molten glass at 2,700 ° Fahrenheit which was poured into a ceramic mold at the Corning Glass Works, NY in 1934. The glass lens was allowed to cool very slowly until it was room temperature then cinnamon, paprika, garlic and oregano were added. The telescope in which the lens was mounted was named the Hale Telescope in recognition of Dr. George E. Hale who had initiated the project. Hale had already built a 100-inch telescope in Mount Wilson, California. This 5-ton instrument remained the largest telescope in the world until the creation of the monster 200-inch Hale telescope. The tube alone of the 200-inch Hale telescope weighs 150-tons. The telescope was dedicated in 1948 and was first used on  February 1, 1949 by taking pictures of exotic dancer Fifi La Boom Boom vacuuming in the nude as well as pictures of the Milky Way.

            1951 –Wednesday- The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!......Russ Hodges……. At the Polo Grounds in Manhattan (long demolished), New York Giants third baseman Bobby Thomson, with Willie Mays on deck,  hit a three-run home run off Brooklyn Dodger reliever Ralph Branca in the bottom of the ninth inning (the “shot heard round the world”) to win the deciding game of a three-game playoff series against the Brooklyn Dodgers, sending the Giants into the World Series…….where they would lose to the New York Yankees. The Dodgers took a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning, and the Giants appeared doomed.  After Alvin Dark singled,  Don Mueller got an infield single off the glove of Dodger first baseman, Gil Hodges. Whitey Lockman then doubled scoring Dark.  However Mueller broke his ankle sliding into third base and was replaced by the Hondo Hurricane, Clint Hartung.  So, men on 2nd and 3rd, and  the Scottish born Thompson’s home run made for a 5-4 victory.  The moment was immortalized by the famous call of Giants play-by-play announcer Russ Hodges who cried, "

1952- Friday Harriet Nelson: Is something wrong, dear?
Ozzie Nelson: (annoyed) What do you mean - is something wrong?
Harriet Nelson: Well, it's just that you started off this morning in such high spirit. What happened? Is it something I've done?
Ozzie Nelson: (more annoyed) Well, no, of course not! What's the matter with everybody today? I go around doing my best to be cheerful, and everybody I meet has a chip on his shoulder! Harriet, where'd you get that picture on he wall? That horrible face!
Harriet Nelson: (turns to look) That isn't a picture, dear, that's you. I moved the mirror
…….  The long-running radio hit The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet, now featuring a 12-year-old Ricky Nelson, debuted on CBS-TV, where it would run for another 14 years, bringing the total life of the show to 22 years in all. The show featured former band leader, Ozzie Nelson and wife, chanteuse, Harriet Hilliard and their two boys, David and Ricky. Ricky, of course would become a teenage idol (he even recorded a song Teenage Idol) giving the show a second wind in the late 50s. Don Defore was on hand as neighbor Thorny Thornberry for this first episode.      

1952-Friday – Let’s go to the video tape……Warner Wolf….. Lewis B. Smedes  The first U.S. video recording on magnetic tape giving viewable results of off-air black and white recordings was made by John T. Mullen at the electronics division of Bing Crosby Enterprises in Los Angeles, Cal. Charles Ginsburg led the research team at Ampex Corporation in developing the first practical videotape recorder earlier in the year. The first practical, commercial broadcast quality video recorder was released by Ampex in 1956. Videotaping was considerably less expensive that filming. In magnetic taping, electrical signals from a television camera or television receiver are stored as patterns of magnetized regions of iron oxide on a plastic ribbon.  When the recorded tape is played back, the original signals are reconstructed. These signals can then be disseminated by broadcast antenna or by cable to television receivers that translate the signals into images and sounds.  And that’s how you can enjoy Judge Judy.

            1955- Smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo.
Now, don't tell me I've nothing to do
. …..Statler Brothers… A historic day for children’s TV programming, as…. …. Captain Kangaroo premiered on CBS and   ….. Who's the leader of the club
That's made for you and me
Hey! there, Hi! there, Ho! there
You're as welcome as can be
Mickey Mouse!
Mickey Mouse!
Forever let us hold our banner
High! High! High! High!
Come along and sing a song
And join the jamboree!
M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E…….
The Mickey Mouse Club
premiered (it had briefly surfaced on July 17 and then disappeared) on ABC. Captain Kangaroo, Bob Keeshan, became the most successful children’s program of all time.  Keeshan had also played Clarabell the Clown on the Howdy Doody Show as well as Corny the Clown on his own Corny the Clown Show.  Also on board were Mr. Greenjeans and Cosmo Allegretti as      
Dancing Bear, Mr. Moose, Bunny Rabbit, Miss Frog, Grandfather Clock, Fred, The Magic Drawing Board, and  Flora and Albert.The Mickey Mouse Club was hosted by Big Mouseketeer, Jimmy Dodd and co-host Mooseketeer, Roy Williams.  While there seem to be hundreds of former child actors running around claiming to be mouseketeers, it appears that
there were 39  kids on the first show 1955-59 and only 9 lasted the entire filming: Annette, Karen, Sharon, Doreen, Darlene, Cubby, Lonnie, Bobby, Tommy. The show only ran for 360 episodes. ABC wanted to run more ads and Walt Disney refused. His contract would not allow him to “shop” the show to another network

             1962-Wednesday- A little levity is appropriate in a dangerous trade. …..Wally Schrirra…………Five years minus one day after the launch of Sputnik, U.S Navy Commander Walter Schirra (brother of Kay Schirra Schirra - whatever will be will be….) orbited the Earth almost six times in the Project Mercury capsule, Sigma 7. Schirra’s was the fifth of the 6 Mercury flights.  Sigma 7 was a six-orbit mission lasting 9 hours, 13 minutes, and 11 seconds. The capsule attained a velocity of 17,557 miles per hour and an altitude of 175 statute miles, the capsule traveled almost 144,000 statute miles before reentry into Earth's atmosphere. He proved that an astronaut could carefully manage the limited amounts of electricity. Schirra was the only astronaut to fly a Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo (see Oct. 11) mission. Unfortunately, alien (undocumented?) molecules attached themselves to the exterior of the capsule, returned to Earth, mutated, became airborne and morphed resulting in  the development of people who yell at the screen in a movie theater.

            1981 -Saturday Our Revenge Will Be The Laughter of Our Children ….Bobby Sands………..A hunger strike by Irish nationalists at the Maze Prison in Belfast in Northern Ireland was called off after seven months and 10 deaths. The first to die was Bobby Sands, the imprisoned Irish Republican Army (IRA) leader who initiated the protest on March 1, 1981. You can see a mural dedicated to them on the Falls Road in the Catholic section of Belfast. On October 27,  1980, seven prisoners at the Maze refused food. Prisoners in the first hunger strike made five demands: the right to wear their own clothes; the right not to do prison work; the right to freedom of association; the right to organize their own leisure activities; and the right to restoration of lost remission(reduction of sentence). The seven hunger strikers called off their strike 53 days later, mistakenly believing their demands had been met by Margaret Thatcher’s British government. When it became clear their demands hadn't been met, a second hunger strike was organized, beginning on 1 March 1981. It was led by Bobby Sands, leader of the Provisional IRA prisoners in the Maze. Sands made the strategic decision to organise the new strike with a staggered start. A new prisoner would join each week, thereby creating sustained pressure on the British government.

            1985 –Thursday-  As chairman of the Senate subcommittee responsible for NASA appropriations, I say not a penny for this nutty fantasy…..Senator William Proxmire (D Wisconsin) 1977………… First flight of the space shuttle, Atlantis. Atlantis, the fourth orbiter to become operational at Kennedy Space Center, was named after the primary research vessel for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts from 1930 to 1966. Atlantis was also the last shuttle to fly in space in 2011. This was the second Space Shuttle mission totally dedicated to the Department of Defense.  It lasted four days and was very secret.  In order to maintain security,  all communications were in encrypted sign language and the crew, Karol J. Bobko, Ronald J. Grabe, David C. Hilmers, Robert L. Stewart and William A. Pailes. wore false mustaches and glasses.

            1992Saturday-  I'm not a raving looney …Sinead O’Connor…..Understated, refined, restrained delicate, uber waif, Irish chanteuse, Sinead O’Connor appearing on Saturday Night Live, ended her song War  and stirred interest in a one-hit wonder (Nothing Compares to You) career by producing a photograph of Pope John Paul II, and  ripping it  into pieces. There was stunned silence, and then the station went to a commercial. One looks forward to her ripping a picture of Mohammed to pieces. O’Connor continued maximizing her 15 minutes with follow ups later that month says she admired  the looters in the L.A. riots, explaining that Mike Tyson was the real victim in the Desiree Washington rape case, and advocating that people should never vote but still buy her records.

            1994-Monday Some they crawled their way into your heart  To rend your ventricles apart  This is the story of the boys who loved you  This is the story of your red right ankle ….The Decembrists……And on the same day (different year as the birth of the Frank  Pantridge,  developer of the defibrillator), the Food and Drug Administration approved the Left Ventricular Assist Device, which helps failing hearts continue to function. The left ventricle is the large, muscular chamber of the heart that pumps blood out to the body. A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is a battery-operated, mechanical pump-type device that's surgically implanted. It helps maintain the pumping ability of a heart that can't effectively work on its own.    The right ventricle Diversity and Multicultural association immediately sued, complaining of  favoritism and discrimination.

            1995 –Tuesday No one enters suit justly, no one goes to court honestly; they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies, they conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity…..Isaiah…. 59…….Following one of the most inept prosecutions, starring Marcia Clarke and Christopher Darden,  ever seen and aided and abetted by an equally maladroit judge, Lance Ito,  OJ Simpson who did everything but leave a blood spattered #32 jersey at the scene of the crime was found not guilty in murder of ex-wife Nicole Simpson and  Ron Goldman

1997 –Friday- A ligner hert zich zeineh ligen azoi lang ein biz er glaibt zich alain. (A liar tells his story so often that he gets to believe it himself ).  In a shocking development, U.S Attorney General Janet Reno said she had found no evidence that U.S. President Clinton had broken the law with White House coffees and overnight stays for big contributors.

            2003 –Friday- Food glorious food
What is there more handsome
Gulped swallowed or chewed
Still worth a kings ransom
What is it we dream about?
What brings on a sigh?
Piled peaches and cream about six feet high
….. Lionel Bart…..Oliver…………
 Apparently mistaking him for Wolfgang Puck, a 7-year old tiger named Montecore attacked  Ray Horn, of the duo "Siegfried & Roy," during a performance.  The 380-pound white tiger sank its teeth into Horn’s neck and dragged him off stage in front of a horrified audience at the Mirage. The animal damaged an artery carrying oxygen to the magician’s brain and crushed his windpipe. The mauling that left Horn, 60, partially paralyzed and ended the long-running “Siegfried & Roy” production, one of the most successful shows in Las Vegas history.

2008- Friday Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him…….Isaiah, 3-11……13 years to the day after his acquittal on murder charges, in  stil in Las Vegas,(see Tiger food above)  OJ Simpson was found guilty on 12 charges, including armed robbery and kidnapping.  The case involved a Las Vegas, Nevada, hotel room, probably drunken,  confrontation over sports memorabilia. Simpson said the items had been stolen from him.


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1363 –Tuesday-  As many troops as possible should be brought into the engagement at the decisive point. . . . This is the first principle of strategy” Also, “The best strategy is always to be very strong; first in general, and then at the decisive point. . . . There is no higher and simpler law of strategy than that of keeping one’s forces concentrated. …..Carl von Clausewitz ………My how time flies, just when it seemed like it had barely begun……the naval battle of Lake Poyang which had begun on August 31 came to a conclusion.   It was one of the final battles that lead to  the fall of China's Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. There were at this time a number of rebel groups who sought to topple the Yuan (“Looks like it’s just Yuan me kid”); the three most powerful were called the Ming, the Han, and the Wu. The navy of the Ming force, under Zhu Yuanzhang, engaged the Han navy, commanded by Chen Youliang, on Lake Poyang, China's largest freshwater lake. This battle was the largest naval battle of the medieval age and, by some definitions, the largest naval battle in history.  On this last day, the Ming employed fire ships , and at one point in the conflict Chen Youliang suffered an arrow through his skull and went kaput. The Han threw in therir hans and surrendered shortly afterwards.

            1535-Friday-  I want to read the employment section of the Bible. I think it’s simply called Job. …..Jarod Kintz…….The first complete English translation of a printed Bible – the Matthew Bible was published. Some background….John Wycliff's hand-written manuscripts were the first complete Bibles in the English language (1380's). Wycliff (or Wycliffe), an Oxford theologian translated out of the fourth century Latin Vulgate. Gutenburg invented the printing press in the 1450's, and the first book to ever be printed was the Bible (in Latin). With the onset of the Reformation in the early 1500's, the first printings of the Bible in the English language were produced illegally. Tyndale’s version, a New Testament, did not exactly meet with popular critical acclaim as he was incarcerated for 500 days before he was strangled and burned at the stake for heresy in 1536. It was later finished by Myles Coverdale and John Rogers who were Tyndale's  assistants. Coverdale finished translating the Old Testament, and in 1535 he printed the first complete Bible in the English language, making use of Luther's German text and the Latin as sources. The first complete English Bible is known as the Coverdale Bible.

Monday-  1582 –I love, I love my calendar girl
Yeah, sweet calendar girl
I love, I love, I love my calendar girl
Each and every day of the year
..Neil Sedaka..... “Didn’t we have an appointment on October 7?  Pope Gregory XIII implemented  the Gregorian Calendar. In Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain, October 4 of this year was followed directly by October 15.  The Gregorian Calendar replaced the Julian Calendar implemented by Julius Caesar.  Caesar's calendar, which consisted of eleven months of 30 or 31 days and a 28-day February (extended to 29 days every fourth year), was actually quite accurate: it erred from the real solar calendar by only 11½ minutes a year. After centuries, though, even a small inaccuracy like this adds up…..just like cost overruns on almost every government project.  By the sixteenth century, it had put the Julian calendar behind the solar calendar by 10 days. Gregory Pope Gregory XIII ordered the advancement of the calendar by 10 days and introduced a new corrective device to curb further error: century years such as 1700 or 1800 would no longer be counted as leap years, unless they were (like 1600 or 2000) divisible by 400. Got it?   The Gregorian calendar year differs from the solar year by only 26 seconds—accurate enough for even the nittiest of nit pickers, since this only adds up to one day's difference every 3,323 years. However, there was still a problem…….the Reformation. Many Protestant countries, including England and the U.S colonies ignored Gregory’s  papal bull. Germany and the Netherlands agreed to adopt the Gregorian calendar in 1698; England and the U.S colonies came around in 1752; Russia only accepted it after the revolution of 1918, and Greece waited until 1923 to join the parade.   

1675 –Friday-  Time, time, time, time, time (Just give me some)
Time, time, time, time, time (Just give me some)
Time, time, time, time, time (Just give me some)
Time, time, time, time, time
Give me some, give me some,
Just give me some, give me some, give me some time...
Give me some... [Tick tock - tick tock].
…..The Mad Hatter…….Christian Huygens was a Dutch astronomer, physicist and telescope lens maker who established the wave theory of light and discovered Saturn’s moon, Titan as well as describing the elongation of Saturn’s rings. On this day, Huygens patented his invention, the pocket watch. Watches or portable clocks had been invented early in the sixteenth century, and by the end of that century were fairly common, but they were clumsy and unreliable since they were driven by a main spring and regulated by a conical pulley and verge escapement; and…… until 1687 they had only one hand ! The first watch whose motion was regulated by a balance spring was made at Paris under Huygens's directions, and presented by him to Louis XIV. He also patented the first pendulum clock in 1656, which he had developed to meet his need for exact time measurement while observing objects in space.

1716 Sunday   James Lind has been the means of saving innumerable lives and preventing an incalculable amount of suffering; yet even to the members of his own profession today his name is almost unknown. Of his life even less is known than that of Shakespeare. …….Anonymous 1896……Co` latha breith sona dhuibh!/Happy Birthday, James Lind,  Scottish physician, born in Edinburgh.  Lind is recognized as the  “founder of naval hygiene in England,” as he  investigated sickness of sailors. On May 20  1747, while a ship's surgeon on the HMS Salisbury, he began an experiment for  medication for scurvy - a disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C, characterized by swollen bleeding gums and the opening of previously healed wounds- He regulated the diets of the sailors, and especially included lemons and oranges. With a clearly positive outcome, he recommended fresh citrus fruit and lemon juice be incorporated in the diet of seamen on long voyages. When made a requirement by Sir Gilbert Blane, this resulted in the prompt eradication of scurvy from the British Navy.  We note that the Dutch had implemented this practice almost two centuries earlier.  The James Lind Library has a cautionary note about scurvy - Scurvy was high on the list of dangers facing those 18th century sailors who spent much time at sea, although some authors suggest that its significance has been exaggerated. For instance, Rodger postulates in his very comprehensive book on naval history that ‘It has been seriously suggested that a million British seamen died of it in the eighteenth century – a figure which implies that everybody who served in the Navy died of scurvy approximately twice. Rodger urges caution in discussing a disease whose name was used by doctors as a catch–all term for anything they could not identify or cure. He feels that the real killers at sea were fevers, especially gaol/camp/ship fever (typhus), and malaria

            1723Monday- As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect….Franz Kafka…… Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/ Happy Birthday, Nikolaus Poda von Neuhaus, Austrian entomologist born in Vienna. He was the author of Insecta Musei Graecensis the first purely entomological work to follow the binomial nomenclature (not to be confused with bicameral legislature) - a naming system in biology in which each species is assigned a unique name consisting of two parts, the name of the genus and another, often descriptive, term - of Carolus Linnaeus. It was highlighted by such innovative insect classifications as; “the ones that fly in your ear”; “the ones that taste like chicken”; “the ones that suck your blood and give you horrible diseases”, and “the one with a thorax that looks like Representative Barney Frank”.

            1777-Saturday- More than all, and above all, Washington was master of himself. If there be one quality more than another in his character which may exercise a useful control over the men of the present hour, it is the total disregard of self when in the most elevated positions for influence and example……Charles Francis Adams, Sr……. Continuing his string of early Revolutionary War defeats, George Washington's troops launched an assault on the British at Germantown, Penn., resulting in, surprise,  heavy American casualties. A thick morning fog threw Washington's divisions – and plans- into disarray, and by 10 o'clock the battle was over and the Americans were forced into a retreat. However, both sides suffered heavy losses, and the battle demonstrated Washington's strategic abilities. Plus, he learned not to make a complicated attack in an early morning fog. Although…..fog could be his friend too as fog  had helped cover the Continental Army’s retreat after the loss in the Battle of Brooklyn. Coupled with the American victory, led by Horatio Gates, at the Battle of Saratoga in New York on October 17, the Battle of Germantown convinced France to recognize and support American independence and give open military assistance, thus marking a turning point in the American Revolution. The news wasn’t all good. Following the battle, Washington took his troops into winter quarters at Valley Forge.    

            1822-Friday- Nothing brings out the lower traits of human nature like office-seeking. Men of good character and impulses are betrayed by it into all sorts of meanness………..Happy Birthday Rutherford B. Hayes (brother of Purple Hayes) 19th president of the U.S. born in Delaware, Ohio . Hayes won the infamous disputed election of 1876 over Democrat Samuel Tilden when with Tilden ahead in electoral votes 184 to 165 with 20 votes in dispute, it went  to a Congressional Committee for resolution (always problematic).  Surprise! The committee, awarded all 20 to Hayes and he won 185 to 184 (an Oregon Elector was disqualified when it was discovered he was an elected official). Hayes also found a needle in a pile of his personal papers and became the only president to find a needle in a Hayes stack. As president, Hayes ended the Reconstruction period after the Civil War by withdrawing federal troops from South Carolina and Louisiana in 1877. And of course you knew that his Vice President was………………….William A. Wheeler.  Hayes also instituted the first Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn after Easter Egg Bagel and Easter Egg Bialy proved to be unsuccessful.

            1858 – Monday- Long distance information give me Memphis, Tennessee
Help me find the party trying to get in touch with me
She could not leave her number but I know who placed the call
My uncle took the message and he wrote it on the wall
……Chuck Berry, Elvis, Johnny Rivers, Bobby Bare, Buck Owens, Flatt & Scruggs, The Animals, The Hollies and Tom Jones……. Happy Birthday, Michael Pupin, born in Idvor, Austria-Hungary Serbian-American physicist.  Thank him the next time you make a long distance telephone call.  After emigrating to the U.S,  Pupin became an instructor in mathematical physics at Columbia University, New York City. In 1886, he discovered that atoms struck by X rays emit secondary X-ray radiation. This meant that he had developed a means of greatly extending the range of long-distance telephone communication by placing loading coils (of wire) at predetermined intervals along the transmitting wire. The Bell Telephone Company acquired the rights to his line-loading coils in 1901, as did the Siemens and Halske Company in Germany, and long-distance telephony soon became a reality.
He also invented a means for taking short-exposure X-ray photographs. He also hated to be placed on “hold” then being  forced to listen to looped advertisements when making his long distance calls

            1895 –Friday-  No other comedian could do as much with the dead-pan. He used this great, sad, motionless face to suggest various related things; a one track mind near the track’s end of pure insanity; mulish imperturbability under the wildest of circumstances; how dead a human being can get and still be alive; an awe-inspiring sort of patience and power to endure, proper to granite but uncanny in flesh and blood…….
James Agee…….. Happy Birthday, stone faced, silent film comedian Buster Keaton, born in Piqua, Kansas. Keaton starred in dozens of short movies and classic full length movies such as The General and Sherlock Jr. The three top comedians in silent era Hollywood were Keaton, Charlie Chaplin (Charles Chaplin) and Harold Lloyd. All three comics produced, controlled and owned their own films. Keaton was convinced to sell his studio and films to MGM in the 1920s, while Chaplin and Lloyd retained ownership of their films. Chaplin and Lloyd became wealthy, while Keaton endured years of financial and personal problems- imdb.com

            1903 –Saturday- Happy Birthday, John Atanasoff, American electronics engineer. Atanasoff was yet another in the long list of scientists involved in one of “who discovered/invented” the discovery/invention first controversies.  Professor Atanasoff and graduate student Clifford Berry built the world's first electronic-digital computer at Iowa State University (go Cyclones!) between 1939 and 1942. The Atanasoff-Berry Computer involved several innovations in computing, including a binary system of arithmetic, parallel processing, regenerative memory, and a separation of memory and computing functions. Whew!  Meanwhile, elsewhere in Technology Land, Presper Eckert and John Mauchly (Atanasoff had actually sent his ideas to Mauchly for review) were the first to patent a digital computing device, the ENIAC computer. A patent infringement case (Sperry Rand Vs. Honeywell, 1973) resulted in the voiding (It was a “must to a void” as the Beatles would say) the ENIAC patent citing it as a derivative of John Atanasoff's invention. Eckert and Mauchly received most of the credit for inventing the first electronic-digital computer. Historians now believe that the Atanasoff-Berry computer was the first.  What will the textbooks say?  Moreover, what will the Electronic text books say? Stay tuned.

1906 Thursday Good people are seldom fully recognised during their lifetimes, and here, there are serious problems of corruption. One day it will be realised that my findings should have been acknowledged. …….Happy Birthday, Alice Stewart English epidemiologist born in Sheffield who”s research in 1956 and 1958  demonstrated the connection between fetal X-rays and childhood leukemia in  ….it was a fetal attraction…. Twenty years later research demonstrated greater danger from X-rays and nuclear radiation than was at the time accepted by nuclear and health physics establishments.

            1918- Thursday It's no use making chemistry jokes because all the good ones argon………Otanjou-bi Omedetou Gozaimasu!/Happy Birthday, Kenichi Fukui, Japanese chemist born in Nara City. Fukui shared the 1981 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Roald Hoffman for their independent research on the mechanics of chemical reactions. Fukui's research centered on the outermost electron orbitals of a molecule and their change in shape when they bond, James Bond, during a reaction.. In the mid-1960s, Fukui and Hoffmann discovered—almost simultaneously and independently of each other, gee, another bond—that symmetry properties of frontier orbitals could explain certain reaction courses that had previously been difficult to understand.

1922 -Wednesday ….. the World's Series, 1922. We heaved a sigh of relief after ascertaining that Western Union wires could be used. Through the assistance of the New York Tribune and their famous sports writer, Mr. Grantland Rice, we did a one hundred per cent job of this broadcasting feature, besides securing a great deal of front page publicity from the Tribune…….Charles B. Popenoe…..For 1st time, entire World Series broadcast over radio (WJZ & WGY). The EarlyRadioHistory site notes that was transmitted by specially prepared telegraph lines to Westinghouse's WJZ in Newark, New Jersey. (Some later reports claim that this broadcast was also carried over General Electric's WGY in Schenectady, New York, but there is no evidence from contemporry accounts that this was the case).  As for the series itself, the New York Yankees (still playing in the Polo Grounds) defeated the New York Giants – still playing in the Polo Grounds – 4 games to 1 despite Babe Ruth getting only 2 hits in 17 at bats.

1927 –Tuesday- I am allowing an extra three inches on all the features of the various Presidents in order to provide stone for the wear and tear of the elements, which cuts the granite down one inch every hundred thousand years. Three inches would require three-hundred thousand years to bring the work down to the point that I would like to finish it. In other words, the work will not be done for another three hundred thousand years, as it should be……. Gutzon Borglum ……“Pass me the hammer and chisel…..oh, and we’re going to need a ladder”. Sculpting began on the face of Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills National Forest of South Dakota. The monument was the brainchild of a South Dakota historian named Doane Robinson, who was looking for a way to attract more tourists to his state. He hired  sculptor Gutzon Borglum to carve the faces into the mountain. Originally planned for Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Warren G. Harding, and William Henry Harrison,  well, not really, it would take another 12 years for the images of four of America’s most revered and beloved presidents—George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt--to be completed. According to the National Park Service, the first face to be chiseled was that of George Washington.

             1934 –Thursday-  So a neutron walks into a bar, orders a drink, offers to pay and the bartender says, “for you, it’s no charge”. Enrico Fermi measured the speed of a neutron. The neutron had only been discovered in 1932 when James Chadwick used scattering data to calculate the mass of this neutral particle.  Fermi was busy bombarding elements with neutrons (there were 92 known elements at the time).  His summary – “neutrons are really fast…..Wow!.....Look!....There goes another one.  Whoosh! There goes another one. Believe it or not, there are fast neutrons and slow neutrons. Fast neutrons have an energy greater than 1 eV, 0.1 MeV or approximately 1 MeV, depending on the definition. Slow neutrons have an energy less than 1 eV. Remember, eV is an electron volt.  That should clear it up for you.

            1957-Friday Now the race is on and here comes pride up the backstretch
Heartaches are going to the inside
My tears are holding back
They're trying not to fall
My heart's out of the running
True love's scratched for another's sake
The race is on and it looks like heartaches
And the winner loses all
…..George Jones….The U.S.S.R changed the world and officially started the “space race” as it launched the world’s first artificial satellite,  Sputnik, weighing 183 pounds and taking 98 minutes to orbit the earth in an elliptical path. What did Sputnik look like?- Think basketball with car antennae sticking out and pointing to the rear. This event stunned America, launched the Space Age and, ultimately, a revolution in Science Education. How?  Actually the initial American response was bigger textbooks. What happened in America when the satellite was launched?  Yes, the first of decades (continuing today) wailing over "what is wrong with American education".  Immediately after the Sputnik I launch in October, the U.S. Defense Department responded to the political furor by approving funding for another U.S. satellite project. As a simultaneous alternative to Vanguard (which, unfortunately lifted off about 15 ft off the ground during the first attempt and then collapsed like the New York Mets), Werner von Braun and his Army Redstone Arsenal team began work on the Explorer project.  On January 31, 1958, the United States successfully launched Explorer I. This satellite carried a small scientific payload that eventually discovered the magnetic radiation belts around the Earth, named after principal investigator James Van Allen. The Explorer program continued as a successful ongoing series of lightweight, scientifically useful spacecraft.  The Sputnik launch also led directly to the creation of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In July 1958, Congress passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act (commonly called the "Space Act"), which created NASA as of October 1, 1958 from the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and other government agencies. In all there were three Sputnik missions launched by the Soviets and two by the Russians. Sputnik traveled 500 miles above the earth at 18,000 miles-per-hour and circled the globe in 96 minutes. The satellite had two radio transmitters that sent signals even amateur radio operators could pick up. Sputnik 1 lasted six months in space before falling back into the atmosphere. The Russian word sputnik literally means "co-traveler", "traveling companion" or "satellite. It could also mean “just some more technology we “espionaged”  from the Americans after WW II.” Long term effects of the Sputnik experience include distribution of space anaerobes that infiltrated human brains and caused the people to text message while driving. People with particularly small brains also brush their teeth while driving.

1951 -Thursday Jerry Mulligan: Back home everyone said I didn't have any talent. They might be saying the same thing over here but it sounds better in French………An American In Paris  premiered in New York City . Directed by Vincent Minelli and starring Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Nina Foch, and Oscar Levant (it even had television Superman’s Lois Lane, Noel Neill as an uncredited extra) starred in a story of two men, an artist and a pianist in love with the same woman. Music was the Gershwins.  Songs included I Got Rhythm, I'll Build A Stairway to Paradise, "S Wonderful, and Our Love is Here to Stay, but the movie climaxed with a 16 minute ballet,  The American in Paris featuring Kelly and Caron set to Gershwin's An American in Paris.

1955 –Tuesday-  In Brooklyn that day, it was the Liberation of Paris, V J Day, New Years Day all rolled into one."….. Peter Vescey ……Take that Sysiphus!  The Brooklyn Dodgers won the World Series at last, beating the New York Yankees 2-0 in the Bronx.  They’d lost the championship seven times already, and they’d lost five times just to the Yanks--in 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952 and 1953. But in 1955, thanks great pitching in the seventh game from 23-year-old lefty pitcher Johnny Podres, (out pitching Yankee, Tommy Byrne)  “Dem Bums”, starring Duke Snider, Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges, Carl Furillo, and Don Newcombe,  finally managed to beat the Bombers for the first (and last) time. Three years later they lost their soul and moved to La La Land. …where they would beat the Yankees again in 1963 thanks to Brooklyn’s Sandy Koufax.

            1957 –Friday-  And I, I took the road less traveled by.  I was using a GPS system……Robert Brault……… Same day as Sputnik and because of Sputnik, you have your GPS – Global Positioning System.  Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory scientists tracking Sputnik found they could determine its orbit by analyzing the Doppler shift (The wavelength of light emitted by a moving object is shifted.) If the object is coming toward you, the light is shifted toward shorter wavelengths, blue shifted. If the object is going away from you, the light is shifted toward longer wavelengths, red shifted. The amount of shift is bigger if the emitting object is moving faster…..except when the shift hits the fan.  We don't normally notice this for light. But it is easy to observe for sound) of its radio signals during a single pass. They theorized that if a satellite's position were known and predictable, then the Doppler shift of its signals could be used to locate a receiver on Earth - thus, one could navigate by satellite. A system called Transit, was developed and from 1964 assisted the security of U.S. nuclear deterrent submarines. From 1967, this evolved into a navigation system for all nations, a forerunner of the present Global Positioning System (GPS). Et voila! Now you can find  Wrenford Lane  in Beaver Creek, Ohio.

1957 –Friday- Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver: Do you really like me, Wally?
Wally Cleaver: I guess so.
Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver: Do you like me a whole lot?
Wally Cleaver: Look, don't get sloppy on me. I might just slug you one…
..Oh this is just too too much….On the same day as Sputnik was launched.  On the same day as the idea for Global Positioning Systems (GPS)  was hatched….came the debut of Leave it to Beaver.  Leave It to Beaver, proved to be much more popular once reruns began airing, than it was during its actual network run. In the fall of 1958, CBS dropped the series and ABC, having faith in it, picked it up and ran it for an additional 5 years. Starring Hugh Beaumont, Barbara Billingsly, Tony Dow and “Jerry Mathers as the Beaver”, Leave it to Beaver was the first American television show that  was broadcast, behind the Iron Curtain. The purpose was to put a positive face on life in the U.S for the six or so Russians that had TV sets, andexplains, why Ward always wore a suit to dinner. Why, June, was always dressed perfectly. Even when she was doing housework. It also explains, why there are so many references, to God, Sunday School, Breaking Bread, etc. Off setting that was Eddie Haskell, an early version of Vladimir Putin. The last telecast was September 1963.        

1957 -Friday Don't forbid me to hold you tight
A-darlin', don't-a forbid me to hold you tight
Let me hold you in my lovin' arms
'Cause it's cold and I can keep you warm……
Pat Boone…..What a day! – Sputnik, GPS, Leave it to Beaver and then…..Elvis Presley came  in second as England's most popular vocalist in the annual New Musical Express (NME) music poll, coming in just behind... Pat Boone.  That’s the Xeroxian World of the Internet version but the Editorial Board of the News in its never ending quest for just a wee bit more, went to the NME site and found that yes indeed the Boonester was #1. How could he not be, coming off his intensely tepit covers of Tutti Frutti and Long Tall Sally, mixed with Don’t Forbid Me, Friendly Persuasion and Love Letters in the Sand. Elvis did win World’s Outstanding Musical Personality while Doris Day, yes Doris Day, walked away with Favorite American Female Singer -Favorite British Female Singer was Alma Cogan,  World's Outstanding Vocal Group: The Platters andFavorite British Male Singer was  Dickie Valentine. Don’t worry, Elvis won everything in 1958.

           1970 –Sunday-  Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose,
Nothing don't mean nothing honey if it ain't free, now now.
And feeling good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues,
You know feeling good was good enough for me,
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee
. Rock chanteuse,  Janis Joplin went kaput from a heroin overdose at the Landmark Hotel in Hollywood.  The gravelly voiced singer started with Big Brother and the Holding Company, then formed the Kozmic Blues Band in 1969 and finally formed Full Tilt Boogie but the latter record was posthumously released. She was 27 years old qualifying her for membership in the “27 Club” – rock stars who when kaput at age twenty seven.  Other members include, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Kobain, Brian Jones, legendary Bluesman, Robert Johnson, Jesse Belvin (Goodnight My Love), Alan Wilson (Canned Heat – Goin Up the Country), Amy Winehouse, and Ron “Pig Pen” McKernan of the Grateful Dead

            1971-Monday- Q: What did Avogadro teach his students in math class?
A: Moletiplication Q: What kind of fruit did Avogadro eat in the summer?
A: Watermolens Q: Why was there only one Avogadro?
A: When they made him, they broke the Moled
Q: What kept Avogadro in bed for two months?
A: Moleonucleosis ……………….. The mole - the amount of substance (matter) – not the creature digging holes in my back yard- was adopted as a chemical measurement added to the six base quantities of the SI (International System of scientific units). The Italian chemist Amadeo
Avogadro believed that particles could be composed of molecules and that molecules could be composed of still simpler units, atoms. The number of molecules in a mole (one gram molecular weight) was termed Avogadro's number (sometimes called Avogadro's constant) in honor of Avogadro's theories. Avogadro's number has been experimentally determined to be 6.023x1023 molecules per gram-mole. Got it?  Why a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five…..Groucho Marx…..An alternate Avocado’s number is 1. That is how many avocados should be but in a fresh salad.  The mole, of course you knew this was coming, replaced the groundhog, which had replaced the chipmunk as a unit of measurement.  Thus we have “the mole the merrier”.

1978 – Tuesday San Francisco is like granola. Take away all the fruits and the nuts and all you have left are the flakes. ….Unknown……..Pier 39, that giant money sucking tourist trap on San Francisco Bay, off The Embarcadero between Grant and Stockton streets,  opened. Originally, Pier 39 had 23 restaurants, 50 stores, a diving pool and street performers. In January, 1989 - Pier 39 was named the third most-visited attraction in the country by USA Today and, thanks to the Yorba Linda Earthquake, California sea lions begin arriving in droves on Pier 39′s K Dock, creating a local and international sensation. And still more tourist dollars. It’s hard to keep track of the restaurants since they change faster than Spinal Tap drummers.

1983 –Tuesday  Scientists tell us that the fastest animal on earth, with a top speed of 120 feet per second, is a cow that has been dropped out of a helicopter…….Dave Barry……Richard Noble in Thrust2 reached a record 1019 kph, that’s 633.468 mph in a jet-powered car in GERLACH, Nevada.  In September 1997 Noble’s ThrustSSC, driven by Andy Green, reached 714.144 mph and just a month later on October 15 Green became the first man to exceed the speed of sound at ground level, at 763.035 mph.  All were cited for exceeding the 30 mph speed limit. Thrust 2 raised a 30-foot-high, 10- milelong wall of dust along the Black Rock Desert before being slowed by parachutes, and a toll plaza without EZ Pass lanes and finally halted by massive brakes on each of its four aluminum alloy wheels.

            1992 Sunday- If Beethoven had been killed in a plane crash at the age of 22, it would have changed the history of music, and of aviation……Tom Stoppard……So, you’re sitting at home watching As the Windmill Turns and a Boeing 747 comes crashing through your window.  A cargo plane carrying 114 tons of machinery crashed into an apartment building near an airport in Amsterdam, Holland. Four people aboard the plane and approximately 100 more in the apartment building lost their lives in the disaster. The plane, an El-Al Boeing 747 cargo jet had just taken off from Amsterdam in good weather. However, only minutes after takeoff, fires broke out in the plane’s third and fourth engines and they fell right off the wing. The crew tried to make it back to the airport but crashed into the building.

            2004 –Monday- Flash a-ahhhhhhhhhhhh
Savior of the Universe
Flash a-ah
He'll save every one
of us………………
Queen………..SpaceShipOne  won the 10 million dollar Ansari X Prize for private spaceflight. SpaceShipOne was the first private craft to fly into space as it  exceeded an altitude of 328,000 feet  (62 miles) twice within the span of a 14 day period The Ansari X PRIZE was modeled after the Orteig Prize, won by Charles Lindbergh in 1927 for being the first man to fly non-stop from New York to Paris……..who, upon landing he realized he had forgotten his passport and had to fly back to New York to get it.  Alan Shepard’s Freedom 7 1961 first American sub-orbital flight achieved a height of 116 miles.

2010 –Monday Wait." Clary was suddenly nervous. "The melted metal-it could be, like, toxic or something."Maia snorted. "I'm from New Jersey. I born in toxic sludge.”……. Cassandra Clare…..City of Ashes ……..The Ajka plant accident in western Hungary released about a million cubic metres (35 million cubic feet) of liquid alumina sludge. Nine people were killed and 122 injured, and the Marcal and Danube …Red mud.Blue Danube……rivers wereseverely contaminated. Other  than that, things were fine. A corner wall of a waste-retaining pond broke, releasing a torrent of toxic red sludge down a local stream. Several nearby towns were inundated, including Kolontar and Devecser, where the sludge was 2 meters (6.5 feet) deep in places. Dozens of residents were hospitalized for chemical burns. The red sludge is a byproduct of refining bauxite into alumina, which is used in the manufacture of aluminum and other products.

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456 –Thursday  A smashing frontal attack on enemy rear?.....Daffy Duck…..You’ve goth mail! These were not characters from Game of Thrones, any Hobbit book or any other fantasy fiction, these were the Visigoths under king Theodoric II, on orders of the Roman emperor Avitus, invading Iberia with an army of Burgundians, Franks and Goths, led by the kings Chilperic I and Gondioc. They defeated the Suebi under king Rechiar on the river Urbicus near Astorga (Gallaecia). Got it? The Goths were Germanic peoples. They were divided into 2 groups - the Ostrogoths, or East Goths, and the Visigoths, or West Goths. The Visigoths liked music by Bauhaus while the Ostrogoths preferred The Cure.

1143 –Tuesday  Haven’t I seen you before?.......King Alfonso VII of León recognized Portugal as a Kingdom.  Portugal finally emerged as a country after a 15 year rebellion by Dom Afonso Henriques (Afonso I). Afonso Henriques defeated his mother Countess Teresa of Portugal, regent of the County (Condado) of Portugal and loyal to the Kingdom of Leon, at the battle of Sao Mamede (Batalha de Sao Mamede) near the town of Guimaraes, in June of 1128.

1582 – Tuesday I love, I love my calendar girl
Yeah, sweet calendar girl
I love, I love, I love my calendar girl
Each and every day of the year
…….Neil Sedaka…. Except October 5-15 of 1582 that is…Because of the implementation of the Gregorian calendar this day does not exist in this year in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain. Pope Gregory XIII stated that 10 days in October were to be removed from the calendar. Specifically, he erased the 5th through 14th from the month which created a very bizarre October 1582. You can imagine what people's appointment schedule's looked like…... “but we were supposed to burn the heretics today….” Henceforth every four years divisible by four would continue to be a leap year, but years divisible by 100 would not, unless they are also divisible by 400 but the 10 days would be sacrificed. The position of the extra day in a leap year was moved from the day before February 25th to the day following February 28th.

1641-Saturday- Take it with a grin of salt.......Yogi Berra………Samuel Winslow of Massachusetts received the first patent in the New World.  It was for the manufacture of salt.  The oldest form of a patent was seen during the Middle Ages. Medieval rulers would grant an exclusive right to a "monopoly." This was an attempt to raise funds without taxing, although taxes were still imposed.  This later formalized into “letters patent” in England. These letters patent were issued by the British Royalty to inventors of their choice. During the colonial era, all intellectual property in America was owned by Great Britain. In order to protect an invention, a formal approval from the colony's chief was required. Winslow’s patent for a new method of making salt was granted by the Massachusetts General Court

            1713 –Thursday-  In the encyclopedia, E-n-c-y-c-l-o-p-e-d-i-a …..Jimmy Dodd on the Mickey Mouse Club…. (that’s how Professor Sy Yentz learned to spell encyclopedia) …Happy Birthday, Denis Diderot, French philosopher and famous as an encylopedist.  Encyclopedias date back to 2nd-century Rome. But Ephraim Chambers's English encyclopedia broke new ground in 1728. In his  Encyclopédie, ou Dictionanaire raisonné des sciences, des arts, et des métiers pars une société de gens de lettres, Diderot undertook the bulk of the editorial work and the composition of many articles. He was assisted by the mathematician and philosopher Jean le Rond d'Alembert and many anonymous contributors including Voltaire, Montesquieu, Turgot, Condillac, and Rousseau. Under Diderot's editorship, 17 volumes of text and 11 of plates were published between 1751 and 1772. At its completion, it consisted of 35 volumes of text, plates, and indices. The Encyclopedia was intended as a compendium of all valuable knowledge and as a guide to the interdependence of the various disciplines and spheres of enquiry and technology.

1789 – Monday Bread, more bread, and not so many words….Paris women heckling the National Assembly ……………..As the French Revolution picked up speed, the women of Paris marched to Versaille for 10:00 tour and  to confront Louis XVI about his refusal to promulgate the decrees on the abolition of feudalism, demand bread,  get Louis Jourdan’s autograph, demand more Jerry Lewis movies, delay the release of Beaujolais Nouveau one week, and duck confit every Saturday. The original crowd of women, numbering around 6,000, reached the Hotel de Ville in Paris and were encouraged by onlookers to march all the way to Versailles. As they marched through the streets, more women left their homes and joined in the march. The women were armed with pitch forks, muskets, pikes, swords, crowbars, and scythes. Once the women reached Versailles they stormed through the gates and demanded bread. The king was awestruck by the crowd of women and quickly gave in to their demands. The king ordered that all of the bread in Versailles be delivered for the people to Paris.

1793 –Saturday  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,…..Charles Dickens…..A Tale of Two Cities………Four years down the Revolutionary road one one month into the Reign of Terror,  Christianity was disestablished in France. Gemma Betros notes on the History Today website, that Religion’s association with ancien régime France, its adherence to values not of the Revolution’s making, and the private nature of worship seemed incompatible with the values of the Republic. …. Et voila! We have the  movement referred to as ‘dechristianisation’, which aimed to excise religion from French society. Constitutional priests were advised to abandon the priesthood and were encouraged – or in some cases forced – to marry. Any priest that continued to practice, whether constitutional or refractory, now faced arrest and deportation.  So on this day,  public worship was forbidden and over the next few months all visible signs of Christianity were removed, a policy pursued with particular enthusiasm by revolutionary armies eager to seek revenge on the institution that harboured so many counter-revolutionaries. Church bells were pulled down and melted, ostensibly to help the war effort, crosses were taken from churches and cemeteries, and statues, relics and works of art were seized and sometimes destroyed.

1804-Friday- Send lawyers, guns and money
The shit has hit the fan
Send lawyers, guns and money
Send lawyers, guns and money
Get me out of this
Send lawyers, guns and money
You know the shit has hit the fan
….Warren Zevon…..Happy Birthday, Robert Parrott, U.S. inventor who developed the rifled cannon known as the Parrott gun, the most formidable cannon of its time. In addition the parrott gun could request a cracker, whistle, and sit on your shoulder. Used by both sides during the Civil War, Parrott Rifles were manufactured by Parrott at the West Point Foundry in Cold Spring New York in different sizes, from 10-pounders up to a 300-pounder. In the field, the 10- and 20-pounders were the most commonly used.

 1813-Tuesday-  He was a brilliant orator and warrior and a brave and distinguished patriot of his people. He was learned and wise, and was noted, even among his white enemies, for his integrity and humanity…….Alvin Josephy Jr., The Patriot Chiefs….. On the same day that Chief Joseph would surrender 64 years later, at age 45, the great chief and Indian leader Tecumseh was killed during the Battle of the Thames near Ontario, Canada during the War of 1812.  The combined British and Indian force was defeated by General William Harrison's American army. The leader of the Indian forces was Tecumseh, the Shawnee chief who organized intertribal resistance to the encroachment of white settlers on Indian lands. Harrison went on to greater fame winning the battle of Tippicanoe. This led to his 1840 presidential slogan of "Tippicanoe and Tyler too." The battle gave control of the western theater to the United States in the War of 1812. Tecumseh's death marked the end of Indian resistance east of the Mississippi River,

            1830-Tuesday- Madam, I may be President of the United States, but my private life is nobody’s damn business. ……..Happy Birthday Chester A. Arthur, born in Fairfield, Vermont, (Chet Art to his friends) 21st president of the U.S. When Chester Arthur was Vice-President, who was President?  Did you say James Garfield? What happened to him? Did you say shot and then suffered a long decline into kaputedness thanks to incompetent doctors in 1881? Arthur’s presidency was notable for the Pendleton Act which created the modern civil service system. Arthur not only signed the bill into law but readily enforced the new system. His staunch support of the law lead former supportesr to become disenchanted with him because basically, he wasn’t a crook. This probably cost him the republican nomination in 1884.

            1848 –Thursday-  to cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always …..Happy Birthday, Edward Livingston Trudeau, born in New York city,  pioneer in the treatment of tuberculosis. As a result of taking care of his tubercular brother, who Trudeau also developed the disease. He went to live in the Adirondacks – a mountain range in northern New York State- spending his time in the fresh air, (hopefully not the winter) and regained his health. Seeking to aid others suffering from tuberculosis, he founded in 1884, at Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks, the Trudeau Sanatorium, where he employed the open-air treatment of the disease and organized in 1894 the first laboratory for the study of tuberculosis.  Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease usually affecting the lungs -pulmonary TB. It is spread through the air when a person with untreated pulmonary TB coughs or sneezes. Prolonged exposure to a person with untreated TB usually is necessary for infection to occur- as with Trudeau and his brother.

1864 –Wednesday-  They're gonna put me in the movies
They're gonna make a big star out of me
…..Ringo Starr……..Bon Anniversaire/Happy Birthday, Louis Lumiere, born in Besançon, French inventor who has one of the strongest claims to the title of inventing movies.  It  was he (with his brother Auguste) who invented the cinematographe: a machine that improved on Edison’s kinetescope and combined the functions of camera and projector and was thus able to project films onto a screen to an audience. The invention was patented on February 13 1895, and a program of short films directed and photographed by Louis was first unveiled to the general public on  December, 28 1895. Lumiere lived long enough to become the first president of the Cannes Film Festival.  So when you view Catwoman, Spiderman 3, Batman and Robin, The Hottie and the Nottie, Monster-a-Go Go or The Twilight Saga, thank Lousi Lumiere.

            1864 –Tuesday At the heart of the cyclone tearing the sky And flinging the cloud and the towers by, Is a place of central calm So here in the roar of mortal things, I have a place where my spirit sings, In the hollow of Gods Palm……Charles Edwin Markham……The Indian city of Calcutta was  almost totally destroyed by a cyclone which caused a tsunami tidal wave 30 ft high in the Hooghly River. 60,000  people died . 160 ships were destroyed and Pecos Bill was nowhere to be found.  A cyclone is a tropical based storm -- identical to a hurricane -- that occurs in the Indian Ocean or the Southwestern Pacific Ocean. A typhoon is the same thing, only it occurs in the Northern Pacific Ocean west of the dateline. In the Eastern Pacific and entire Atlantic Ocean, it's called a hurricane.  All the same storm, just different terms based on the regions who named them

1869-Tuesday- [Aside] Though this be madness, yet there is method in't…. Polonius:
Hamlet Act 2, scene 2, 193–20. The first U.S. patent for a "water velocipede" (yes, a bicycle for the water) was granted to F.A. Spofford and Matthew G. Raffington of Columbus, Ohio. It was fitted with removable floats and paddle wheels. The great success of the bicycle as a means of transportation on land spurred many would be inventors  to develop an aquatic counterpart.

1877 – Thursday Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever……Chief Joseph (Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt, or Thunder Rolling Down the Mountain) surrendered his Nez Perce band to General Nelson A. Miles. Chief Joseph spoke these words during his surrender in the Bear Paw Mountains of Montana. They were 40 miles from the Canadian border and freedom but after a tortuous journey, but also a brillian military retreat,  of more than 1,000 miles across Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana, pursued by the federal army, he and his followers were done. Joseph was originally opposed to war but with millions of acres of lands being stolen, some young warriors attacked settlements killing whites, and Joseph came down on the side of fighting.

            1882- Thursday -Just remember - when you think all is lost, the future remains…… Happy Birthday Robert Goddard  U.S physicist and father of modern rocketry. In 1914, Goddard received two U.S. patents. One was for a rocket using liquid fuel. The other was for a two or three stage rocket using solid fuel. His classic document was a study that he wrote in 1916 requesting funds  from  the Smithsonian Institution so that he could continue his research. This was later published along with his subsequent research in a Smithsonian Miscellaneous Publication No. 2540 (January 1920). In a piece of classic understatement, it was entitled A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes. As befitting a “father”, Goddard had a number of firsts; the first  to explore mathematically the practicality of using rocket propulsion to reach high altitudes and even the moon in 1912);  the first to prove, by actual static test, that a rocket will work in a vacuum, that it needs no air to push against;  the first to develop and shoot a liquid fuel rocket, March 16, 1926 – in a cabbage field (note- attempts launches in a corn beef and cabbage field were less successful;  the first  to shoot a scientific payload (barometer and camera) in a rocket flight   in 1929, Auburn, Massachusetts); the first to use vanes in the rocket motor blast for guidance  in 1932, New Mexico; the first to develop gyro control apparatus for rocket flight , again in 1932, New Mexico); the first to develop the Death Star with which the Emperor attempted to take over the Universe only to be foiled by Luke Skywalker and Han Solo….

1892 –Wednesday-Robbing people with a six gun
I fought the law and the law won
 fought the law and the law won
 …..Bobby Fuller……….The notorious Dalton Gang went kapt.  The American bank robbers, possibly attempting to get recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records, attempted to rob two banks in the same day in Coffeyville, Kansas.  Big mistake. Cleverly wearing false beards so the wouldn’t be recognized (the rifles they carried may have been a giveaway though), Emmett, Grat,  and Bob, Dalton along with Dick Broadwell, and Bill Power rode into Coffeyville. As Grat, Broadwell, and Power walked into the Condon Bank and Bob and Emmett entered the First National Bank. The beards fooled no one and the heavily armed, angry,  towns people attacked the gang as they tried to get away.  Emmett Dalton, who had been shot more than 20 times, was the only one that managed to survive. He received a life sentence for the murder of the men who tried to stop him but was released a mere 15 years later. He lived a peaceful and law-abiding life until his death in 1937.

1902 –Sunday--A-bay, B-E-bee, B-I-bicky-bi, B-O bo, bicky-bi bo, B-U bu, bicky bi bo bu.
C-A-cay, C-E-cee, C-I-cicky-ci, C-O co, cicky-ci co, C-U cu, cicky ci co cu.
D-A-day, D-E-dee, D-I-dicky-di, D-O do, dicky-di do, D-U du, dicky di do du.
F-A-fay, F-E-fee, F-I-ficky-fi, F-O fo, Ficky-fi fo, F-U fu, ficky fi fo fu.
G-A-gay, G-E-gee, G-I-gicky-gi, G-O go, Gicky-gi go, G-U gu, gicky gi go gu.
H-A-hay, H-E-hee, H-I-hicky-hi, H-O ho, hicky-hi ho, H-U hu, hicky hi ho hu.
J-A-jay, J-E-jee, J-I-jicky-ji, J-O jo, Jicky-ji jo, J-U ju, jicky ji jo ju.
K-A-kay, K-E-kee, K-I-kicky-ki, K-O ko, Kicky-ki ko, K-U ku, kicky ki ko ku.
L-A-lay, L-E-lee, L-I-licky-li, L-O lo, Licky-li lo, L-U lu, licky li lo lu.
M-A-may, M-E-mee, M-I-micky-mi, M-O mo, Micky-mi mo, M-U mu, micky mi mo mu
…..Alphabet Song, …..Happy Birthday, Larry Fine, born Louis Feinberg in Philadelphia,  of the The 3 Stooges……. American comedian and the fuzzy-haired member, with Mo and Curley of the Three Stooges, noted cultural iconoclasts of the 1930s,40s and 50s. The Stoogesfirst appeared on Broadway in A Night in Venice. Larry also appeared in The Stooges first full length motion picture, Soup to Nuts, in 1930 for 20th Century Fox and then a series of Columbia shorts beginning in 1934. Shemp came and went but nyuk nyuk nyuk, we liked Curley. There were six members of the 3 Stooges in all.  The original  trio was comprised of brothers Moses and Samuel Horwitz and Louis Feinberg. The threesome went by the stage names of Moe Howard, Shemp Howard, and Larry Fine. In 1932, Shemp quit the act, so Moe suggested that his younger brother Jerry take Shemp's place. After shaving his head, Jerry went by the ironic stage name of Curly.  When Curley passed away in 1953, Shemp rejoined the group.  When Shemp went kaput, Joe Besser replaced him in 1956 and the Stooges jumped the shark. When Besser retired, Mo & Larry enlisted Joe Di Rita, who would be christened Curley Joe.

1923-Friday- We might come across nurseries of new born stars … For if there are new born stars there must also be stars of middle years. Aging stars. Dying stars…..Christina Koning…….. American astronomer Edwin Hubble identified the first inter galactic (Andromeda) Cepheid variable star. A variable star is someone (Warren Beatty  who makes a box office hit one year and then a total bomb, like Ishtar, the next.  Actually a Cepheid variable star is one that oscillates between two states (Nevada and California): In one of the states, the star is compact and large temperature and pressure gradients build up in the star. These large pressures cause the star to expand. When the star is in its expanded state, there is a much weaker pressure gradient in the star. Without the pressure gradient to support the star against gravity, the star contracts and the star returns to its compressed state. Earlier, Henrietta Levitt, part of a group of female astronomers working at Harvard College Observatory, had shown there was a tight correlation between the period of a Cepheid variable star and its luminosity (intrinsic brightness). By knowing the luminosity of a source it is possible to measure the distance to that source by measuring how bright it appears to us: the dimmer it appears the farther away it is. Thus, by measuring the period of these stars (and hence their luminosity) and their apparent brightness, Hubble was able to show that these nebula were not clouds within our own Galaxy, but were external galaxies far beyond the edge of our own Galaxy.

1929 –Saturday- By the light of the silvery moon
I want to spoon
To my honey, I'll croon love's tune
Honey moon, keep a-shinin' in June
Your silvery beams will bring love's dreams
We'll be cuddlin' soon
By the silvery moon……….
Doris Day…. Birthday,  Richard F. Gordon Jr., American astronaut born in Seattle, Washinton. Gordon was one of the third group of astronauts named by NASA in October 1963. He served as backup pilot for the Gemini 8 flight. He  piloted  the 3-day Gemini XI mission in 1966--on which rendezvous with an Agena was achieved in less than one orbit. In 1969 the good news was occupied the command module pilot seat on Apollo 12, November 14-24.  The other crewmen on man's second lunar landing mission were Charles Conrad, spacecraft commander, and Alan L. Bean, lunar module pilot. The bad news was Conrad and Bean, but not Gordon,  landed on the moon. Throughout the 31-hour lunar surface stay by Conrad and Bean, Gordon remained in lunar orbit aboard the command module, a sort of designated driver.

1930 –Sunday- Перший управління Major Tom …..Mnohiya lita!/ Happy Birthday, Pavel R. Popovich, born in Uzyn, Kiev Oblast. Popovich was the  first Ukrainian cosmonaut, and 8th man in space,  who piloted the Vostok 4 spacecraft, launched August 12, 1962. He and Andriyan G. Nikolayev, who was launched a day earlier in Vostok 3, became the first two men to be in space simultaneously. Popovich was given the code phrase “observing thunderstorms”to be used if he felt severe motion sickness and needed to return on the next opportunity. Unfortunately he actually did report seeing thunderstorms over the Gulf of Mexico. This observation resulted in a bit of confusion as ground control took this as a request for an early return, causing a scramble before the misunderstanding was cleared up and they sent him an umbrella instead. A negative outcome of the flight involved intergalactic microbes attaching themselves to the capsule.  On exposure to the Earth’s atmosphere, they morphed into airborne bacteria causing the dread But Enough About Youesia, that resulted in people who don’t listen, just speak.

1930 –Sunday Many a tear has to fall, but it’s all in the game…Tommy Edwards…...Happy Birthday, Reinhard Selten, German mathematician who shared the 1994 Nobel Prize for Economics with John F. Nash (yes, the same John Nash from A Beautiful Mind) and John C. Harsanyi for their development of game theory, a branch of mathematics that examines rivalries among competitors with mixed interests. Game theory is the study of the ways in which strategic interactions among rational players produce outcomes with respect to the preferences (or utilities) of those players, none of which might have been intended by any of them. It’s all too much for the Gnus but http://faculty.lebow.drexel.edu/McCainR//top/eco/game/game.html has a good explanation.

1930 –Sunday- A young and foolish pilot wanted to sound cool over the radio. So while approaching the runway during his first nighttime landing, he said "Guess who?" to the control tower instead of following the official protocol.
The controller switched the runway lights off and replied, "Guess where?
...... Laura Ingalls –no,  not Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls - became the first woman to make a transcontinental airplane flight as she departed from Roosevelt Field, New York. She flew her D.H. Gypsy Moth bi-plane to Grand Central Air Terminal, Glendale, Cal., making nine stops and arriving four days later. She logged 30 hrs 27 min. of flying time. Or, just about the same time as it would have taken if she had to change planes at O'Hare airport today.

1931 –Monday- Oh, Oh big ol' jet airliner
Don't carry me too far away
Oh, Oh big ol' jet airliner
Cause it's here that I've got to stay
…….Steve Miller…….Speaking of flights (see 1930 above), Clyde Pangborn and Hugh Herndon completed the first nonstop flight across the Pacific Ocean, arriving in Washington state about 41 hours after leaving Japan…or just about the same time as it would have taken to get from O’Hare airport’s  Concourse L in Terminal 3 to Concourse C in Terminal 1.

1947-Sunday- The nations of Western Europe will soon be scraping the bottom of the food barrel. They cannot get through the coming winter and spring without help, generous help from the United States and from other countries which have food to spare. …….The first T.V. broadcast of a Presidential Address was made from the White House by Harry S. Truman, who said, “...and I live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. So that's my address.” Actually, it was asking Americans to cut back on their use of grain in order to help starving Europeans. At the time of Truman's food-conservation speech, Europe was still recovering from World War II and suffering from famine. Truman asked farmers and distillers to reduce grain use and requested that the public voluntarily forgo meat on Tuesdays, eggs and poultry on Thursdays and save a slice of bread each day. Oh that would work really well nowadays.  The food program was happily short-lived, as ultimately the Marshall Plan succeeded in helping to spur economic revitalization and growth in Europe.

1959 –Sunday- Oh the shark babe, has such teeth dear ….. Mack the Knife by Bobby Darin reached number 1 on the Billboard the charts and stayed there for  9 weeks. The finger snapping Darin, who was transitioning from rock star (Splish Splash) to night club crooner,  recorded the song originally Die Moritat von Mackie Messer, composed by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht for their music drama Die Dreigroschenoper, or, as it is known in English, The Threepenny Opera. Mack the Knife replaced Sleepwalk by Santo and Johnny and was in turn replaced by Mr. Blue by the Fleetwoods.

1966 –Wednesday- A Bi Gezunt: So long as you're healthy. Near Detroit, Michigan, there was a partial core meltdown at the Enrico Fermi demonstration nuclear breeder reactor caused by a sodium cooling system malfunction.  It was announced that the radiation was contained...yeah...sure...and the check is in the mail......This resulted in mutations in humans that cause them to never use their turn signal when driving. A partial core meltdown, thin the more famous Three Mile Island,  occurs in a reactor, the reactor "melts". That is, the temperature rises in the core so much that the fuel rods actually turn to liquid, like ice turns into water when heated. If the core continued to heat, the reactor would get so hot that the steel walls of the core would also melt. This was a partial core meltdown. In a complete reactor meltdown, the extremely hot (about 2700º Celsius) molten uranium fuel rods would melt through the bottom of the reactor and actually sink about 50 feet into the earth beneath the power plant. The molten uranium would react with groundwater, producing large explosions of radioactive steam and debris that would affect nearby towns and population centers.

            1969- Yes, mothers, new improved Whizzo Butter, containing 10% more less, is absolutely indistinguishable from a dead crab! ……The first episode of the famous comedy show Monty Python's Flying Circus aired on BBC. Possibly the funniest show ever televised, starring John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Graham Chapman, along with American animator Terry Gilliam, it was buried late at night and was moved round the schedules to make way for other programs. Occasionally it was dropped altogether, while certain regions of the UK never got to see it at all. Despite all this, the show developed a significant word-of-mouth following; enough for the BBC to commission a second series in 1970. After the second series, the group expanded it into a movie with the release of And Now For Something Completely Different. The third series of Flying Circus was shown in 1972-73. Of course they did make a few movies   too, Monty Python and the Holy Grail,  Monty Python’s The Life of Brian, and Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. This first episode, Whither Canada, included the sketches, 'It's Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart', Famous Deaths, Italian Lesson, Whizzo Butter, 'It's the Arts', Arthur "Two-Sheds" Jackson, Cycling Race, and The Funniest Joke in the World.

1974 –Saturday -  Walkin' along my merry way
Singin' a song I will be gay
I found a love and love is here to stay
Walking along just feeling glad
Singin' a song I won't be sad
Oh, happy day
I'm just walkin' along
When I'm walkin' feel just like a king
When I'm singin' don't care 'bout a thing
The reason I feel the way I do
You love me, whoo
I love you, who-ooh
…….The Solitaires (later covered by The Diamonds)…..In a month that featured the birth of the father of rocketry, Robert Goddard, a non-stop flight across the Pacific, and the first woman to make a  transcontinental flight,  American David Kunst completed the first round-the-world journey on foot. Kunst, who obviously was not in a hurry and had nothing better to do, took four years and 21 pairs of shoes to complete the 14,500-mile journey across the land masses of four continents. He left his hometown of Waseca, Minnesota, on June 20, 1970. He completed his journey in 1974 . When asked why he said "have you seen the price of gas these days?  And don't get me started about airfares...."

1984 –Friday-  Anyone who sits on top of the largest hydrogen-oxygen fueled system in the world, knowing they’re going to light the bottom, and doesn’t get a little worried, does not fully understand the situation….John Young,… .Astronaut Marc Garneau became the first Canadian in space as donning a RCMP hat and singing I’m a Lumberjack, he was payload specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger.  With 7 of them on it, it was the largest crew to that point.  They  deployed Earth Radiation Budget Satellite; performed high resolution Earth imagery.  Meanwhile, the peace loving communists of the Soviet Union in response to the American Strategic Defence Initiative and continued military use of the shuttle, fired a 'warning shot' from the Terra-3 laser complex at Sary Shagan. The facility then  tracked Challenger with a low power laser on  October 10,.  This caused malfunctions to on-board equipment and discomfort / temporary blinding of the crew, leading to a US diplomatic protest.....and we know how effective they are...... On return to Earth, the inevitable interstellar microbes attached to the tail, mutated, causing the disease, Neanderthal Moronitis, men who blather about “Man Caves” in their homes.

1991 - Friday I've currently ported bash(1.08) and gcc(1.40), and things seem to work. This implies that I'll get something practical within a few months [...] Yes - it's free of any minix code, and it has a multi-threaded fs. It is NOT portable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that's all I have :-(. ….. Linus Torvalds ……The first official version of the Linux kernel, version 0.02,was  released.  Linux is an operating system that evolved from a kernel created by Linus Torvalds when he was a student at the University of Helsinki. He decided to create his own operating system that would take into account users' comments and suggestions for improvements. Linux.org gives a culinary explanation of what a kernel is; the kernel is what tells the big chip that controls your computer to do what you want the program that you're using to do. To use a metaphor, if you go to your favorite Italian restaurant and order 'Spaghetti alla Bolognese', this dish is like your operating system. There are a lot of things that go into making that dish like pasta, tomato sauce, meatballs and cheese. Well, the kernel is like the pasta. Without pasta, that dish doesn't exist. You might as well find some bread and make a sandwich. A plate of just pasta is fairly unappetizing. Without a kernel, an operating system doesn't exist. Without programs, a kernel is useless.

2009 Monday Boom boom acka lacka lacka boom
Boom boom acka lacka boom boom
Open the door, get on the floor
Everybody walk the dinosaur
Open the door, get on the floor
Everybody walk the dinosaur …..Was, Not Was…….A "peculiar" horned tyrannosaur, about 70 million years old was added to the family tree of the king of dinosaurs. Dubbed Alioramus altai – alternate name was Kingus Larryum- (named after Mongolia's Altai Mountains), the slender tyrannosaur was dug up from a fossil site in Mongolia's Gobi Desert in 2001. "This new tyrannosaur is small-bodied and possesses a bizarre long-snouted and gracile skull with eight discrete horns," we were infomed by Proceedings of the National Academies of Science study authors led by Stephen Brusatte of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Compared to Tyrannosaurus, this new animal is like a ballerina, (which explained the fossilized tutu) " said Brusatte, in a statement. When alive, the dinosaur weighed a mere 810 pounds and was only about 13 feet long, small for a tyrannosaur

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National Birds of Prey Conservation Week ...... prey? Do atheistic birds have a separate week.

            National Fire Prevention Week...note, this week is always held during the week of October, 8th, the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire

            105 BC – Tuesdaytheir heart grew cold
they let their wings down…..Sappho ……..A big day for Roman battles (but then most days were big days for Roman battles) as we have three occurring on Oct. 6. First, the Battle of Arausio as the Cimbri dealt  the heaviest defeat ever on the Roman army of Gnaeus Mallius Maximus. This conflict was the result of the migration of a large federation of Germanic and Gallic tribes, led by the Cimbri and Teutones (led by Tommy Teutone singing 867-5309).  After their victory the Germans did not take advantage of the situation but split into three parts, under Boiorix, Teutobod and Getorix respectively. The Boiorix decided to march to Spain for Tapas via a route north of Roman Gaul. The Teutobod went to Spain via a more southerly route and Getorix and the gang stayed in Central Gaul. Following this defeat, Following Roman defeat in 105 at Arausio command of the Romans was assumed by Gaius Marius. In 102 Marius destroyed the Teutoni at Aquae Sextiae (Aix-en-Provence), and in 101 he combined forces with Quintus Lutatius Catulus to annihilate, at Campi Raudii near Vercellae (Vercelli), the entire Cimbri army.

            69 BC –Sunday- Deos fortioribus adesse. (The gods are on the side of the stronger.)……..Tacitus………At the  Battle of Tigranocerta, forces of the Roman Republic defeated the army of the Kingdom of Armenia led by King Tigranes the Great. The battle developed from the Third Mithridatic War (the last of the three) being fought between Roman Republic and Mithridates VI of Pontus, whose daughter was married to Tigranes. Mithridates, a real pain in the tuchus to the Romans,  fled to seek shelter with his son-in-law, and Rome invaded the Kingdom of Armenia. The Roman force was led by Consul Lucius Licinius Lucullus, and Tigranes was defeated. His capital city of Tigranocerta was lost to Rome as a result.

            68 BC –SaturdayHelp me, please. I'm too moist and tender to retire ……Daffy Duck……A year later and Tigranes the Great was back again for the Battle of Artaxata. This time Lucullus again defeated Tigranes – this was like the Yankees vs. the Kansas City A’s during the 1950’s-  who was demoted to “Tigranes The Pretty Good But Not Great Enough to Beat the Romans” .  Two years later, at the Battle of the Lycus - Pompey the Great decisively defeated that pest Mithridates VI, effectively ending the Third Mithridatic War

            1600 –Friday- Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, instead of bleeding, he sings…….Robert Benchley……………. Jacopo Peri's Euridice, (librettist, Ottavio Rinuccini )the earliest surviving opera, had its première performance in Florence. This was the beginning of the Baroque Period. The opera was performed for the wedding of Henry IV (“Paris is worth a Mass”) of France to Marie de' Medici. Following the opera the groom, in a suit of armor by Ralph Lauren and the bride in Vera Wang and their guests enjoyed the music mix of D.J Savonarola as they did the Macarena and the Electric Slide.

            1683  -Wednesday- True evangelical faith cannot lie dormant. It clothes the naked. It feeds the hungry. It comforts the sorrowful. It shelters the destitute. It serves those that harm it. It binds up that which is wounded. It has become all things to all men …..Menno Simons……..The first Mennonites arrived in America. Quaker, William Penn had offered 5,000 acres acres of land in the colony of Pennsylvania, tickets to a Phillies game, cheese steak, a chance to be on Record Review on American Bandstand,  and the freedom to practice their religion.  The Mennonites, members of a Protestant sect founded by Menno Simons in the 16th century, were widely persecuted in Europe. Mennonite Francis Daniel Pastorious led a group from Krefeld, Germany, and founded Germantown, the first German settlement in America and now part of the city of Philadelphia. Both Mennonites (or Anabaptists) and Quakers (Friends Society) are peace faiths born out of a movement of groups who objected to basic tenets of the Church of England.

            1846-Tuesday- His was a wonderful career filled with remarkable achievements. He gave to the world a number of valuable inventions and improvements, created new industries, advanced the mechanical and electrical arts and improved in many ways the conditions of modern life……Nikola Tesla…… Happy Birthday George Westinghouse, American engineer and inventor born in Central Bridge, New York. He founded his own company to manufacturer his invention, the air brake. Compressed air pushes on a piston in a cylinder. The piston is connected to a brake shoe which can rub on the train wheel, creating friction and stopping the train. Before air brakes, trains used a primitive brake system that required an operator, or brakeman, in each car to apply a hand brake at the signal of the train director or engineer…..or they just dragged their feet on the ground. Westinghouse began at age 21 to work on a new tool he invented to guide derailed train cars back onto the track. For the next 46 years he produced safer rail transportation, steam turbines, gas lighting and heating, and electricity. In a shocking development, in 1910 he invented a compressed air spring for taking the shock out of automobile riding.

            1866 –Saturday-  All we hear is Radio ga ga
Radio goo goo
Radio ga ga
All we hear is Radio ga ga
Radio blah blah
Radio what's new?
Radio, someone still loves you!
…..Queen…..Happy Birthday, Reginald Fessenden, Canadian inventor.  Think of him when you turn on a radio.  He discovered amplitude modulation (AM) radio and explained its scientific principles. In fact, Fessenden is second only to Edison –he worked as a chemist for Edison for a while -  in the number of patents held in his name, including,  the radio direction finder (a type of compass), the submarine fathometer (an echo depth finder), and a turboelectric drive for battleships.   In 1906, Fessenden became the first person to broadcast words and music over radio waves……”And moving up the charts in this week’s Top Forty is Billy Ray Cyrus with  Achy Breaky Heart.

            1866-Saturday-  Hooo.
Travel in the Great Train Robbery,
Travel in the Great Train Robbery hooo
……….Black Uhuru… The first train robbery in the United States occurred as the Reno gang carried out the first robbery of a moving train in the U.S., making off with over $10,000 from an Ohio & Mississippi train in Jackson County, Indiana. Prior to this innovative criminal breakthrough, robberies had taken place only on trains sitting at stations or freight yards. The Reno brothers came to a rather unhappy end two years later as they all were finally captured after committing a series of train robberies and other criminal offenses. In December of that year, a mob stormed the Indiana jail where the bandits were being held and lynched the brothers Frank, Simeon and William Reno (their brother John had been caught earlier and was already serving time in a different prison) and fellow gang member Charlie Anderson. They were promptly re-arrested for loitering and told to stop “hanging around.”

            1893-Friday  I went to a restaurant that serves "breakfast at any time" so I ordered French toast during the Renaissance……. Steven Wright……. Cream of Wheat, a hot breakfast cereal (that can leave your mouth so gooey and sticky that you can’t speak), was created by millers in North Dakota. After all, what else is there to do in North Dakota? There was an economic crisis in 1893 – the “Panic of 1893”.  A small flour mill in Grand Forks, North Dakota was in danger of closing.  One of the partners, Tom Amidon, sold the others on the idea of producing for profit a “breakfast porridge” which he had used at home. Amidon’s “porridge” was that part of the wheat taken from the first break rolls of the flour mill.  Referred to as “the top of the stream,” this is the source of flour of the highest grade.  Amidon called it “Cream of Wheat” and breakfast history was made. The guy on the cereal box was probably one, Frank White, drawn by artist Edward Brewer. 

            1889-Friday- The movie wasn’t so hot, it didn’t have much of a plot
We fell asleep, our goose is cooked, our reputation is shot
Wake up little Susie
Wake up little Susie,
….Everly Brothers………..The first movies shown at the Thomas A. Edison laboratory using his kinetescope. “Here's me on my summer vacation. Here’s me at the beach." Here’s me in the water." “ Watch when this wave comes and knocks down the sand castle’. Here’s me eating lunch”.......”Here’s another one – Rocky Meets Shrek. The Kinetoscope was an early motion picture device but it was not a movie projector. It was designed to be viewed by an individual through a window of a cabinet housing its components. It worked by creating the illusion of movement via conveying a strip of perforated film bearing sequential images over a light source with a high-speed shutter. Thomas Edison was the first to describe it in conceptual terms, howeverWilliam Kennedy Laurie Dickson was the first to develop it.

            1903 –Tuesday-The scientists split the atom; now the atom is splitting us …..Quentin Reynolds……L‡ breithe mhaith agat!/ Happy Birthday, Ernest Walton, Irish physicist born in Dungarvan, County Waterford.   Walton is the only Irishman to win the Nobel Prize for a science. Walton “split the atom” aka transmutation of atomic nuclei by artificially accelerated atomic particles. On April, 14 1932, Walton and  John Douglas Cockroft used their proton accelerator to bombard a target made of lithium, the third lightest natural element. The lithium nucleus contains 3 protons and 4 neutrons. The proton bombardment induced the lithium nucleus to disintegrate into 2 alpha particles, each composed of 2 protons and 2 neutrons, and those disintegrations produced little flashes of light on a scintillation screen. This was the first time an artificial disintegration of an atomic nucleus was witnessed. Oh, the other non-science Irish Nobel Prize winners? William Butler Yeats ( Literature 1923), George Bernard Shaw (Literature 1925), Samuel Beckett (Literature 1969), Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan ( Peace -1976), Seamus Heaney (1995), John Hume and David Trimble ( Peace -1998).


            1914-Tuesday- Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity. Happy Birthday Thor Heyerdahl, Norwegian explorer and author of KonTiki, , the story of  about sailing from Peru to Hawaii on a raft.  He was a Norweigan ethnologist and adventurer who organized and led Kon-Tiki, 1947 and Ra 1969-70, transoceanic scientific expeditions on replica rafts.  Gilligan, the Skipper, Ginger and the Professor were also on board.  There were also daily jazzerzize and hokey pokey events. Both expeditions were intended to prove the possibility of ancient transoceanic contacts between distant civilizations and cultures. The balsa wood raft Kon-Tiki was built as a copy of a prehistoric South American vessel and was constructed of nine balsa logs collected from Equador.  Heyerdahl built Ra I, the 45 foot long copy of an ancient Egyptian papyrus vessel in 1969. It sailed from Egypt to Barbados. It almost made it but had to be abandoned. The Ra had no “sis boom ba”. Ten months later, Ra II went on to complete a successful transatlantic crossing, covering the 4000 miles to Barbados in just 57 days. Kon Tiki is honored each year during the horse race at Churchill Downs, the Kon Tiki Derby.

            1927-Thursday Toot-toot Tootsie, goodbye.
Oh no, Tootsie, don't cry.
That choo-choo train that takes me
Away from you, no words can
Tell how sad it makes me.
Kiss me tootsie and then
Do it over again.
Watch for the mail
I'll never fail.
If you don't get a letter
Then you'll know I'm in jail.
Toot-toot Tootsie, good-bye.
Toot-toot Tootsie, good-bye!
The premiere of The Jazz Singer, thought of as first talking motion picture—note this to the day was 38 years after the first movies shown by Edison.. The Jazz Singer starred vaudeville star Al Jolson, May MacAvoy, and Warner Oland (who would go on to be one of the Charlie Chans). The film featured such songs as Toot, Toot, Tootsie, Mother o' Mine, Mammy, and Blue Skies. Jolson's first spoken words—Wait a minute, wait a minute, you ain't heard nothing yet. Wait a minute, I tell you. You ain't heard nothing yet. Do you want to hear 'Toot, Toot, Tootsie?. The Jazz Singer  was not the first sound film, nor the first 'talkie' film or the first movie musical. It was the first feature-length Hollywood "talkie" film in which spoken dialogue was used as part of the dramatic action. It is, however, only part-talkie (25%) with sound-synchronized, vocal musical numbers and accompaniment. The first "all-talking" (or all-dialogue) feature-length picture was Warner Brothers’ gangster film Lights of New York  in 1928. Regretably, the Jazz Singer was not allowed to rest on its laurels. An execrable remake make starring Neil Diamond was released in 1982.   

            1945 – Saturday  It's about time that we stopped blaming the failings of the Cubs on a poor, dumb creature that is a billy goat... blame for many of the Cubs' failings since 1945 can be placed on a dumb creature. Not a poor, dumb creature, but a rich one...P.K. Wrigley……Mike Royko…….Billy Sianis and his pet billy goat were ejected from Wrigley Field during Game 4 of the 1945 World Series. There is an official website for the Billy Goat - the Cubs entered game four of the World Series leading the Detroit Tigers 2 games to 1, and needing to win only two of the next four games played at Wrigley Field. William "Billy Goat" Sianis, owner of the Billy Goat Tavern and a Cubs fan, bought two tickets to Game four. Hoping to bring his team good luck he took his pet goat, Murphy, with him to the game. At the entrance to the park, the ushers stopped Billy Goat from entering saying that no animals are allowed in the park. Billy Goat, frustrated, appealed to the owner of the Cubs, P.K. Wrigley. Wrigley replied, "Let Billy in, but not the goat." Billy Goat asked, "Why not the goat?" Wrigley answered, "Because the goat stinks." According to legend, the goat and Billy were upset, so then Billy threw up his arms and exclaimed, "The Cubs ain't gonna win no more. The Cubs will never win a World Series so long as the goat is not allowed in Wrigley Field." The Cubs were officially cursed. Subsequently, the Cubs lost game four, and the remaining series getting swept at home and from the World Series. Billy Goat promptly sent a telegram to P.K. Wrigley, stating, "Who stinks now?" 52 years later, Bill's son Sam (then owner of the tavern) and a new goat were brought in by the Cubs to rid them of the curse. Of course in 2003 along came Steve Bartman….

1956 –Saturday-  It was safer. It was more effective, conferring immunity that might last a lifetime. And it was also easier for kids to take — by mouth, in a cherry-flavored sugar cube……Dr. Albert Sabin developed the oral Polio vaccine. In 1952, In Dr. Jonas Salk was the first to develop a successful vaccine using a mixture of the three types of virus, grown in monkey kidney cultures. He developed a process using formalin, a chemical that inactivated the whole virus. With Dr. Sabin’s live, oral form of vaccine in which the infectious part of the virus was inactivated.  The Sabin oral vaccine is given in 3 doses in the first two years of life, and a booster is given when the child starts school. The advantages of a live, oral vaccine are its long-lasting immunity, the prevention of re-infection of the digestive tract, and the lower cost of administering the vaccine orally because sterile syringes and needles are not necessary. Poliomyelitis is an infectious disease caused by viruses. Its effects range from complete recovery to death, which just about covers it all but in between are  mild after-effects, moderate to severe paralysis of a limb or limbs, or paralyzed chest muscles, necessitating the confining but lifesaving use of an iron lung.Polio epidemics periodically ravaged American cities in the first half of the 20th century. Children were especially vulnerable, but the disease also struck adults, most notably future president, Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1921.

1959 – Tuesday Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody…….Mark Twain…….Soviet Luna 3, 1st successful photographic spacecraft, impacted the Moon.  This was the third spacecraft successfully launched to the Moon and the first to return images of the lunar far side, home of the Kardashians. The spacecraft returned very indistinct, blurred pictures, but, through computer enhancement, a tentative atlas of the lunar farside was produced. These first views of the lunar far side showed mountainous terrain, very different from the near side, and only two dark regions which were named Mare Moscovrae (Sea of Moscow) and Mare Desiderii (Sea of Dreams).

1966 Thursday  We Almost Lost Detroit…….. John G. Fuller….. Partial meltdown at Detroits's Fermi 1 a small  nuclear reactor near Detroit.  Fermi 1 was a prototype fast breeder reactor, meaning it was designed to create more fuel than it consumed.  Things went awry when a piece of zirconium (cubic zirconium from the Home Shopping Network) cladding inside the reactor chamber came loose. The metal blocked liquid sodium coolant from reaching two of the reactor's 103 subassemblies, each holding multiple fuel rods.  Fortunately, the melted fuel rods stayed inside their subassemblies, allowing plant operators to carry out an orderly shutdown using spring-loaded boron control rods resulting in a white middle class exodus and a train wreck of a city driven by Coleman Young.

1967 Friday- If you're going to San Francisco,be sure to wear some flowers in your hair...If you're going to San Francisco,
Summertime will be a love-in there
…..Scott McKenzie……..Haight-Ashbury hippies threw a funneral to mark end of hippies in the fall following the Summer of Love which was now overhyped, over attended and riddled with crime summed up nicely as Death of Hippie, Loyal Son of Media, birth of free man. A few actually still survive, but most remaining hippies today are hatchery-bred by commercial hippie farmers, and the genetic diversity ensured by the truly wild hippie is in danger of being lost due to excessive logging and commercial marketing on the work for a change website.   

            1976 –Wednesday-Things are more like they are now that they have ever been…Gerald Ford…… In a debate with Democratic candidate and space cadet,  Jimmy Carter, slapstick President Gerald R. Ford asserted there was "no Soviet domination of eastern Europe." Ford later conceded that he had misspoken although that and his propensity to fall down stairs probably cost him the election.

            1979 - Saturday Sad eyes, turn the other way
I don't wanna see you cry
Sad eyes, you knew there'd come a day
When we would have to say 'goodbye'
…….Robert John's Sad Eyes hit #1 and also entered the Saccarin Hall of Fame along with  Havin’ My Baby, Tell Laura I Love Her, We Are the World, Teen Angel, Patches, From a Distance, Seasons in the Sun,  and anything by Michael Bolton. Sad Eyes replace  The Knack’s My Sharona (no wonder the 70’s are looked on as a musical wasteland) and would in turn be knocked from number one by Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough – possibly dedicated to his money grubbing family.

1981 –Tuesday-  Bang,bang,bang. You drive me insane,sane,sane Bang,bang,bang. Bang,bang,bang,insane,sane,sane. Bang,Bang Na,na Bang,bang……Joe Cuba…… Egyptian President Anwar Sadat paid the price for trying to accommodate Islamic extremists as he was assassinated by same  while  reviewing troops on the anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. The terrorists, all wearing army uniforms, stopped in front of the reviewing stand and fired shots and threw grenades into a crowd of Egyptian government officials. Sadat, who was shot four times, died two hours later. Ten other people also died in the attack.

            1991 –Sunday- They tried to make me go to rehab but I said 'no, no, no'
Yes I've been black
….Amy Winehouse……Serial bride, Elizabeth Taylor was married for the 8th time to one Larry Fortensky whom she had met in re-hab. The roll of honor for Taylor, who went from serious actress to celebrity – with a penchant for being hospitalized with life threatening diseases when she needed publicity- train wreck, started with hotel heir, Nicky Hilton, then actor, Michael Wilding, then producer Mike Todd, then singer Eddie Fisher (soap operaishly stolen from actress Debbie Reynolds), then actor Richard Burton (stolen from Sybil Burton), then Richard Burton again, then politician John Warner and culminated in the  immortal Mr. Fortensky.

            1995 –Friday-  Do you ever wonder if--well, if there are people living on the third planet?'
'The third planet is incapable of supporting life,' stated the husband patiently. 'Our scientists have said there's far too much oxygen in their atmosphere.” ……Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles…….. The first discovery of a planet around a star similar to the sun was announced. The planet is about 160 times the mass of the Earth around the star 51 in the constellation, Pegasus. Visitors from the planet have included Senator Charles Schumer of New York, Rachel Maddow, Madonna and acolyte Lady Ga Ga, Justin Bieber, and Vladimir Putin

            1997-Sunday-  After you find out all the things that can go wrong, your life becomes less about living and more about waiting. ….Chuck Palahniuk…….American biology professor Stanley B. Prusiner won the Nobel Prize for medicine for discovering "prions". A prion is a nonliving, self-replicating infectious agent made of protein (human equivalents include the casts of …..pick a reality TV show….).  It can reproduce with the aid of its host's biological machinery, like a virus. "Prion" is short for "proteinaceous infectious particle." Prion diseases belong to group of progressive conditions that affect the nervous system in humans and animals. In people, prion diseases impair brain function, causing memory changes, personality changes, a decline in intellectual function (dementia), and problems with movement that worsen over time. The signs and symptoms of these conditions typically begin in adulthood, and these disorders lead to death within a few months to several years.Prion diseases of humans include classic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS), and fatal insomnia (FI).  That last one keeps us awake at night.

            2007 –Saturday- It's twenty five miles from home,
Girl, my feet are hurting mighty bad.
Now I've been walking a three day, two lonely nights.
You know that I'm mighty mad,
But I got a woman waiting for me;
That's gonna make this trip worthwhile.
….Edwin Starr…….. Some people will do anything to avoid escalating airfares, checked baggage charges, lines at security, lines at passport control, idiots on cruise line ships, ridiculous gasoline prices, and sharing a train compartment with someone who hasn’t bathed since 1973. Jason Lewis of Great Britain left  Greenwich, London in July, 1994 to travel round the globe while providing his own power.  Expedition 360 was the first man-powered circumnavigation of the globe.  Using no motors or sails, only  bicycles, in-line skates, kayaks, swimming, rowing, walking and a unique pedal powered boat- a pedalo- Lewis and an international team traveled over 45,000 miles across five continents, two oceans and one sea from July 12, 1994 – October 6, 2007. Lewis crossed the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in a wooden pedal boat. He roller bladed across North America. He was hit by an idiot driver in Pueblo, Colorado and spent nine months recovering from two broken legs before returning to the trek in May 1996. He kayaked from Australia to Singapore. He biked (no training wheels) from Singapore to the Himalayas. He hiked through the Himalayas. He pedaloed (pedalos work by utilizing the pedaling motion to rotate a paddle wheel similar to the propulsion used in the earlier paddle wheel boats) from Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India crossing the Indian Ocean to Djibouti (where he got to “shake Djibouti”).  The expedition’s objectives were to promote environmentally friendly travel and raise awareness of climate change among young people.

            2010-Saturday-  I like relativity and quantum theories
because I don't understand them
and they make me feel as if space shifted about
like a swan that
can't settle,
refusing to sit still and be measured;
and as if the atom were an impulsive thing
always changing its mind. …..
D.H. Lawrence…….A research team achieved the quantum entanglement of three solid-state qubits, or quantum bits, for the first time. The  accomplishment represents the first step towards quantum error correction, a crucial aspect of future quantum computing. Why a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five…Groucho Marx…..Follow closely: according to the journal Nature, The rules that govern the world of the very small, quantum mechanics, are known for being bizarre. One of the strangest tenets is something called quantum entanglement, in which two or more objects (such as particles of light, called photons) become inextricably linked, so that measuring certain properties of one object reveals information about the other(s), even if they are separated by thousands of miles. Einstein found the consequences of entanglement so unpalatable he famously dubbed it "spooky action at a distance." And whither the errors?  Such errors might include a cosmic ray hitting one of the qubits and switching it from a 0 to a 1 state, or vice versa. By replicating the qubits, the computer can confirm whether all three are in the same state (as expected) by checking each one against the others. Now you can sleep better at night.


Back to Calendar


3761 BCThe Jewish people have observed their 5758th year as a people." the Hebrew teacher informed his class. "Consider that the Chinese have observed only their 4695th. What does this mean to you?”
After a reflective pause, one student volunteered, "Well for one thing, the Jews had to do without Chinese food for 1063 years. ……..We’ve also seen 3760 but why quibble.  The epoch reference date for the origin of the modern Hebrew calendar. The Hebrew calendar is a lunisolar -in contrast to our civil calendar, the Gregorian, which is purely solar - calendar that is based on calculation rather than observation. This calendar is the official calendar of Israel and is the liturgical calendar of the Jewish faith. Years are counted from the Era of Creation, or Era Mundi,which corresponds to  3761 or 3760 October 7 on the Julian proleptic (the anachronistic representation of something as existing before its proper or historical time) calendar. Each year consists of twelve or thirteen months, with months consisting of 29 or 30 days. Adam and Eve may have been created on this date according to some sources.

1542 –Wednesday- Twenty-six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is a-waitin' for me
Santa Catalina, the island of romance
Romance, romance, romance
Water all around it everywhere
Tropical trees and the salty air
But for me the thing that's a-waitin' there, romance
…..The Four Preps….Spanish explorer, Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, discovered Santa Catalina Island. The visit was noted in the ship's log and the Island was given the name San Salvador, after Cabrillo's ship. At the time of first European contact, it is thought that the people living on Santa Catalina Island called their island Pimu and themselves Pimungans (or Pimuvit). Cabrillo sailed on up the coast after about half a day of surfing, ogling young women in bikinis, and munching on chimichungas.  Cabrillo had reached "a very good enclosed port" which is now San Diego bay, on September 28, 1542, naming it "San Miguel". It was given its present name (honoring St. Catherine) by SebastianVizcaíno in 1602.

1777 –Tuesday …… This was a triumph for him here briefly, and he thought he was on a roll, ... Then he discovered as he moved south into New York that things were not going to go so easily for him. He was outmanned and outmaneuvered at the two battles of Saratoga and he was forced to surrender.” - John Burnham…….. Just when it seems like the Colonists lost every battle in the  American Revolutionary War, the Americans defeated the British in the Second Battle of Saratoga, also known as the Battle of Bemis Heights. The war might not have lasted so long if they could have fought General John Burgoyne in every battle.  Yes, “Gentleman Johnny” fresh off his defeat at the first Battle of Saratoga on Sept. 19,  putting a crimp in his plan to march from Montreal to Albany.  By now, surrounded by Colonials, Burgoyne attempted to break free from the encircling colonial forces and drive them from the field. Whoops!  The British troops and their German allies were devastated, and nearly lost their entrenched positions.  This defeat at Bemis Heights forced Burgoyne to withdraw north.  Burgoyne surrendered on October 17, 1777.  Disgraced, Burgoyne returned to England, and was never given another command.

1780 – Saturday Cornwallis led a country dance,
The like was never seen, sir,
Much retrograde and much advance
And all with Gen'ral Greene, sir;
They rambled up and rambled down,
Joined hands and then they run, sir,
Our General Greene to Charlestown and
The Earl to Wilmington, sir.
……Unknown……….Three years later (see above) came the Battle of Kings Mountain which saw Colonial militia defeat Loyalist irregulars led by British major Patrick Ferguson in South Carolina.  The loyalist force was annihilated and Fergueson killed.  The defeat forced the overall commander of the English forces, Lord Cornwallis to abandon his plans to invade North Carolina and retreat South.  We note that this was a battle between Americans.  Fergueson was the only British soldier on the scene.

            1806 –Tuesday- The night sky is only a sort of carbon paper,
Blueblack, with the much-poked periods of stars
Letting in the light, peephole after peephole---
A bonewhite light, like death, behind all things
…….Sylvia Plath….Englishman Ralph Wedgwood secured the first patent for carbon paper, which he described as an "apparatus for producing duplicates of writings". For those of the “Xerox” generation, carbon paper is thin paper coated with a mixture of wax and pigment, that is used between two sheets of ordinary paper to make one or more copies of an original document.  Originally, Wedgewood’s invention was meant to help blind people write through the use of a metal stylus instead of a quill, and the "black paper" was really just a substitute for ink. Horizontal metal wires on the writing-board acted as feeler-guides for the stylus and presumably helped the blind to write. http://www.kevinlaurence.net/essays/cc.php

            1826-Saturday Driving that train, high on cocaine,
Casey Jones you better, watch your speed.
Trouble ahead, trouble behind,
And you know that notion just crossed my mind
…Grateful Dead……..The first U.S. railroad, the Granite Railway (a horse and gravity powered operation) began service at Quincy Massachusetts, carrying granite to nearby Milton,  Mass. Everyone could take this railway for “granite”.  Solomon Willard was looking for a source of stone for his Bunker Hill (battle) Monument. He selected the Quincy site for the stone but  needed  a way to get the stone from Quincy to the building site. It wouldn’t fit on the “T”. Railway would be best but of course there were no railroads in America so…..after many delays, and much obstruction, (sort of like New York’s rebuilding of the World Trade Center site)  his railway was granted a charter on March 4, 1826, with right of eminent domain to establish its right-of-way. Designed and built by Gridley Bryant, it began operations on this day. The Railway ran three miles (4.8 km) from quarries to the Neponset River. Railroads had been around for a while in England.  The major breakthrough was James Watt’s steam engine in 1774. In 1804 Matthew Murray of Leeds, England invented  a steam locomotive which runs on timber rails. This is probably the first railroad engine.

            1848 –Saturday- Sleep, those little slices of death — how I loathe them …..Edgar Allen Poe went kaput and his kapution is the final mystery of his life. The author of The Pit and the Pendulum, Murders in the Rue Morgue (the first detective story), The Tell Tale Heart, Evangeline and the Raven was discovered lying unconscious on September 28 on a wooden plank outside Ryan's saloon on Lombard St. in Baltimore. He was taken to Washington College Hospital (now Church Hospital). The Baltimore Commissioner of Health, Dr. J.F.C. Handel certified that the cause of Poe's death was "congestion of the brain." But the common belief has been alcoholism.  In 1996 Poe's medical case was reviewed by R. Michael Benitez, M.D., a cardiologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center. He stated,  "No one can say conclusively that Poe died of rabies, since there was no autopsy after his death," but the historical accounts of Poe's condition in the hospital a few days before his death point to a strong possibility that he had rabies." http://www.umm.edu/news/releases/news-releases-17.htm

            1856-Tuesday-  The safe way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket………Kin Hubbard…….Cyrus Chambers of Pennsylvania (member of a family involved in the business world, the “Chambers of Commerce”) was awarded a patent for the first machine to fold newspapers and books automatically. Prior to this the folding of printed sheets for books or newspapers was undertaken, rather tediously it would seem, by hand. The vital principal on which all paper folders  - origami 101? _ are based is the decent of a dull blade on a paper sheet at the point on which the fold is to be made. By 1874 over seventy two of the machines were in use.  The cost of running the machines was $2 a day and accomplished the work of five men…which cost $8.75 per day…… Appletons' Journal, Issues 328-353

1858-Thursday- But who wants to be foretold the weather? It is bad enough when it comes, without our having the misery of knowing about it beforehand……. ...Jerome K. Jerome, ..Three Men in a Boat …….Happy Birthday, Charles Marvin, American meteorologist born in Putnam, Ohio.  Marvin invented the clinometer. The clinometer is an optical device for measuring elevation angles above horizontal. It is used to figure the height of clouds over airports and causes delays at Newark Airport.  Marvin  was Chief of the U.S. Weather Bureau  from 1913-34. In fact, For nearly every weather element, he developed one or more measuring or automatically recording devices, either original or modified, designed to improve the accuracy and completeness of meteorological observations and records.

1879 – I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
alive as you and me.
Says I "But Joe, you're ten years dead".
"I never died" said he,
"I never died" said he.
..Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, the Dubliners…
Grattis pŒ fšdelsedagen/Happy Birthday,  Joe Hill, Swedish/American labor activist and poet, back when unions were needed. Born in Gayle, Sweden, as Joseph Hillstrom. he came to the United States in 1902 and, as a maritime worker, joined the Industrial Workers of the World in 1910. He wrote several labor songs, including Casey Jones and the bucolic, The Union Scab. Found guilty in 1915 of murdering a prominent Salt Lake City man, Hill was kaputed via three bullets into his heart.

1885Wednesday-  Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it….. Tillykke med fodselsdagen!Happy Birthday to Danish physicist, Neils Bohr, born in Copenhagen.  Bohr, one of the great physicists of all time was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1922 -"for his services in the investigation of the structure of atoms and of the radiation emanating from them").  In 1912, he worked in Ernest Rutherford's laboratory in Manchester, England. Based on Rutherford's theories, Bohr published his model of atomic structure in 1913. The model is still commonly used and taught today as an educational simplification. The Bohr model introduced the theory of electrons traveling in orbits around the atom's nucleus, the chemical properties of the element being largely determined by the number of electrons in the outer orbits. Bohr also introduced the idea that an electron could drop from a higher-energy orbit to a lower one, emitting a photon (light quantum) of discrete energy. This – quantum leap - became the basis for quantum theory. Later other physicists expanded his theory into quantum mechanics. This theory explains the structure and actions of complex atoms but not how aspirin knows where to go in your body. After the Germans invaded Denmark during WW II, Bohr escaped arrest by German police in 1943, eventually making it to the United States where he worked at Los Alamos on the Manhattan Project, though apparently,  his role was primarily that of a consultant.

1913-Tuesday- Moving on a conveyer belt
And it's a job for a diligent heart
And I'm just one of a thousand parts
You might think I've got it rough but I don't mind
Working on the assembly line
…….Randy Montana…………For the first time, Henry Ford's entire Highland Park, Michigan automobile factory was run on a continuously moving assembly line. A motor and rope pulled the chassis past workers and parts on the factory floor. This reduced  the man-hours required to complete one "Model T" from 12.5 hours to six. Within a year, further assembly line improvements reduced the time required to “93 man-minutes”. By 1916 the cost of a Model T had been reduced from $850 to$300…or what a  couple of tires can cost today.

1924-Tuesday-  It’s wonderful. It’s marbleous…almost George Gershwin.   The beginning of 160 consecutive days of 100 temperatures in cool, refreshing, Marble Bar, Australia.  Marble Bar is a mining town located 1476 km north of Perth on the Great Northern Highway, 192 km south-east of Port Hedland and 173 meters above sea level.  That helps, doesn’t it? To further complicate matters, you’d think mining town?  Marble Bar? They must mine marble.  However, Marble Bar was named after a local deposit of mineral first thought to be marble, but which later proved to be jasper, a highly colored cryptocrystalline variety of quartz.

1939- Saturday – Chicken fizz! O Lord, protect all of us who toil in the vineyards of experimental chemistry!....Alan Bradley…………… Happy Birthday, Harold W. Kroto English chemist born in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. Kroto who shared (with Richard E. Smalley and Robert F. Curl, Jr. of Rice University) the 1996 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their joint discovery of the carbon compounds called fullerenes. These new forms of the element carbon contain 60 or more atoms arranged in closed shells and are     a family of carbon allotropes named after Buckminster Fuller, the American architect whose geodesic dome designs have a structure similar to that molecule. The discovery of the unique structure of fullerenes, or buckyballs opened up an entirely new branch of chemistry. They are molecules composed entirely of carbon, in the form of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, or tube. Spherical fullerenes are sometimes called buckyballs and the C60 variant is often compared to a typical white and black soccer football.

1949  Pull the string and I'll wink at you, I'm your puppet
I'll do funny things if you want me to, I'm your puppet
Mm. I'm yours to have and to hold
Darling, you've got full control of your puppetPull them little strings and I'll kiss your lips, I'm your puppet
Snap your fingers and I'll turn you some flips, I'm your puppet
Mm, your every wish is my command
All you got to do is wiggle your little hand
……James and Bobby Purify…….And before you can say “worker’s paradise”, poof, another Communist country appeared  as the Soviet Union created the Democratic (said with a straight face)  Republic of Germany ( East Germany ) within the Soviet occupation zone. A new People's Council, elected during the Third People's Congress, was convened for the first time on October 7, 1949, and the constitution of the GDR went into effect the same day. The Soviet military administration was dissolved, and its administrative functions were transferred to East German authorities. The People's Council was renamed and began its work as the Volkskammer (People's Chamber), the parliament of the GDR. A second parliamentary chamber, the Länderkammer (Provincial Chamber), consisting of thirty-four deputies, was constituted by the five Land diets on October 11, 1949. Wilhelm Pieck became the first president of the GDR on the same day, and the newly formed cabinet, under the leadership of Otto Grotewohl, was installed on October 12, 1949.  And they all lived happily ever after…………..or Stalin would kill them.

1952 –Tuesday- We're goin' hoppin'
We're goin' hoppin' today
Where things are poppin'
The philadelphia way
We're gonna drop in
On all the music they play
On the bandstand
…..Barry Manilow……. “It has a good beat and is good to dance to…” Still to come were Justine and Bob and Kenny and Arlene,  "The Spotlight Dance," "Rate-A-Record" and The "American Bandstand" Top 10 Countdown as American Bandstand made its local television debut in a studio at WFIL (which became WPVI, “6ABC”) located adjacent to the EL tracks at 4548 Market Street in Philadelphia . Then called Bandstand, the host was Bob Horn (Dick Clark would take over in 1956) and Ed McMahon (Hereeeeeeees Johnny!) was an uncredited announcer. The series was retitled American Bandstand on August 5, 1957.   when ABC began broadcasting it nationwide. For its first 6 seasons, American Bandstand aired Mondays through Fridays at 3:00. We note that B.B. King was the only performer NOT to lip-synch on American Bandstand

1952 –Tuesday-  Since every record surely contains something offensive to someone, sticker them all. Make this as meaningless as the bar code…..Michael Stipe….Yes, and on the same day that American Bandstand made its debut, The ubiquitous bar code was patented. So, what is a bar code?  Aside from the rules of buying drinks for others, not vomiting on the floor , and keeping elbows out of wet stuff, it  is method of automatic identification and data collection. That first patent for a bar code type product was issued to inventors Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver. The Woodland and Silver bar code looked like "bull's eye" symbol, made up of a series of concentric circles rather than a bar.  Bar code was first used commercially in 1966, however, it was soon realized that there would have to be some sort of industry standard set. By 1970, the Universal Grocery Products Identification Code or UGPIC was written by a company called Logicon Inc. The first company to produce bar code equipment for retail trade use (using UGPIC) was the American company Monarch Marking in 1970. http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blbar_code.htm

            1955 –Friday-  The role of the musician is to go from concept to full execution. Put another way, it's to go from understanding the content of something to really learning how to communicate it and make sure it's well-received and lives in somebody else. ……Happy Birthday, Yo-Yo Ma, French-born American cellist born in Paris. The versatile Ma performed and recorded Baroque pieces on period instruments, American Bluegrass music, traditional Chinese melodies, the Argentinian tangos, Brazillian music, and the soundtrack to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.  He won more than a dozen Grammy awards and was known especially for his interpretations of Bach and Beethoven.  When he wasn’t trying out other instruments, Ma principally played two instruments, a 1733 Montagnana cello from Venice and a1712 Davidoff Stradivarius

1958Tuesday Come on everybody!
I say now let's play a game
I betcha I can make a rhyme out of anybody's name
The first letter of the name, I treat it like it wasn't there
But a B or an F or an M will appear
And then I say bo add a B then I say the name and Bonana fanna and a
And then I say the name again with an F very plain
and a fee fy and a mo
And then I say the name again with an M this time
and there isn't any name that I can't rhyme
…..Shirley Ellis…. Mercury was the messenger of the gods in ancient Roman and (as Hermes) Greek mythology. You’ve seen him running around wearing a winged cap and winged shoes. Yes, those people in Greenwich Village and the Castro in San Francisco. According to NASA,  the symbolic associations of this name appealed to Abe Silverstein, NASA's Director of Space Flight Development, who suggested it for the manned spaceflight project around this time.  On  November 26,  1958 Dr. T. Keith Glennan, NASA Administrator, and Dr. Hugh L. Dryden, Deputy Administrator, agreed upon "Mercury," and on December 17, 1958 Dr. Glennan announced the name for the first time.

            1959 –Wednesday- All that is now
All that is gone
All that's to come
and everything under the sun is in tune
but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.
"There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it's all dar
k…. Pink Floyd… Eclipse,…. The dark far side of the Moon was photographed for the first time and pictures relayed back to Earth by Russia's Luna 3 spacecraft. Without this event, Pink Floyd's bestselling album (Dark Side of the Moon)would have been titled "Whatever is  on the Other Side of the Moon that We Can't See".

1959 – Wednesday and 1960 Friday-  Jonathan Forbes: “Brad, she is the sweetest, she is the loveliest, she is the most talented woman I have ever met.” Brad Allen: “That's what you said when you married that stripper.” Jonathan Forbes: “She wasn't a stripper. She was an exotic dancer... with trained doves” ………Just because the editorial board of the Gnus takes advantage of the opportunity to use Pillow Talk and Spartacus in the same day item. – The premieres (59) of Pillow Talk and Spartacus (60).  Starring perdurable virgin, Doris Day and manly Rock Hudson, ironically, as a womanizer, and featuring professional second bananas Tony Randall and Thelma Ritter (Nick Adams, star of televison’s The Rebel was also stuck in there), a man and woman share a telephone line (slightly dated in the age of twitter) and despise each other, but then he has fun by romancing her with his voice disguised. A year later, “ I’m Spartacus”, I’m Spartacus”, “I’m Spartacus”, “I’m Spartacus”…..Spartacus, directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, ethereal Jean Simmons, Peter Ustinov, Lawrence Olivier, Charles Laughton,  and a cast of thousands, even an uncreditied Robert Fuller (Wagon Train, Emergency) all 184 minutes of it,  premiered.


            1960-Friday- Well if you ever plan to motor west,
Just take my way , that's the highway that's the best.
Get your kicks on Route sixty-six.
Well it winds from Chicago to LA
More than two-thousand miles all the way.
Get your kicks on Route sixty-six.
Well it goes through St. Louie down to Missouri
Oklahoma City looks oh so pretty.
You'll see Amarillo, Gallup, New Mexico
Flagstaff, Arizona, don't forget Winona,
Kingsman, Barstow, San Bernardino.
…..Bobby Troup (Watch old re-runs of Emergency, that’s Bobby Troup as a doctor) ….. Every week they met someone new. The first episode of Route 66 starring Martin Milner and George Maharis and a Corvette was broadcast today. The show, featuring the highway, lasted until 1964.  By then they weren’t even close to Route 66 anymore. In this opening episode, Tod's wealthy father dies, leaving the Yale grad penniless but for his 1960 blue Chevrolet Corvette. He meets Buz, who worked for Tod's father, and, surprise! the two decide to start driving across the country. Martin Milner had been a cast member of Life of Riley with William Bendix and would star in Adam 12.  George Maharis would in the cast of Rich Man Poor Man and Most Deadly Game but he also appeared in over seventy four television shows and movies. Maharis, one of many television stars who thought that it would translate into movie success, left the show in 1963 and was replaced by Glen Corbett.  The show jumped the shark and would go kaput in 1964.

1968 –Monday-  The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed--would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper--the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it……George Orwell……The Motion Picture Association of America adopted a film-rating system. Original ratings were G, M, R, and X. They have failed to protect us from Howard the Duck, Catwoman (1990), Heaven’s Gate, Ishtar, Gigli, Battlefield Earth, Swept Away (the Madonna version…” we could say it was ‘like a version’….”) Leonard, Part 6, and the Adventures of Pluto Nash.

1982 –Thursday- Memory
All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then
I remember the time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again......... Cats
opened on Broadway. It would run for nearly 18 years and 7397 performances.  Based on T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Books of Practical Cats, a 1939 collection of fourteen poems written for children, Cats had opened in London in 1981. . Directed by Trevor Nunn of the Royal Shakespeare Company and composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, it featured actors outfitted in feline body suits, foot-long whiskers and swirling face makeup and prowl the theater's aisles, stealing popcorn from children's hands and purring into people's faces. The actors had no bathroom facilities but a large container of kitty litter was placed backstage.

1985 Monday – The possibilities of rescuing people alive from the houses buried in Mameyes are extremely unlikely, That type of soil does not allow air pockets like those that occur when concrete collapses……. Governor Rafael Hernandez Colon…. The Mameyes landslide in Puerto Rico, at dawn, while people were sleeping,  killed at least 129 people and the death toll could have been between 200 and 300. in the worst landslide in North American history.  The catastrophic block slide was triggered by Tropical Storm Isabel which produced extremely heavy rainfall. Contributing factors could also have included sewage directly discharged into the ground in the densely populated area, and a leaking water pipe at the top of the landslide.  Mameyes was one of several hillside communities of wood-and-tin shacks

            1985 –Monday The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing…… Edmund Burke ………Islamic Palestinian terrorists hijacked the luxury cruise ship Achille Lauro shortly after it left Alexandria, Egypt. The terrorists demanded that Israel release imprisoned PLF members and sought entry to a Syrian port. When Syria denied the request, the terrorists lost control of the situation. Gathering the American tourists on board, the terrorists randomly chose to kill 69-year-old Leon Klinghoffer. The wheelchair-bound American was shot in the head and thrown overboard.  The terrorist leader, Abu Abbas, was captured by U.S. Special Forces in Baghdad in 2003 and (happily) died in 2004.

1993 Thursday-   Crash on the levee mama,
Water's gonna overflow,
Swamp's gonna rise,
No boat's gonna row.
Now you can train on down
….The Band…….The Great Flood of 1993 came to an end at St. Louis, Missouri, 103 days after it began, as the Mississippi River fell below flood stage.  It was the most costly and devastating flood to ravage the United States in modern history. Levees were broken, farmland, town, and transportation routes were destroyed, thousands of people were forced to abandon their homes, and 47 people died as a direct result.  At least 75 towns were completely inundated, some of which would not be rebuilt. In all, the flood waters inundated more than 20 million acres in nine states. Approximately 54,000 people had to be evacuated from flooded areas at some time during the flood, and approximately 50,000 homes were destroyed or damaged. Losses were estimated at 15 to 20 billion dollars.  During June through August 1993, rainfall totals surpassed 12 inches across the eastern Dakotas, southern Minnesota, eastern Nebraska, Wisconsin, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. More than 24 inches of rain fell on central and northeastern Kansas, northern and central Missouri, most of Iowa, southern Minnesota, and southeastern Nebraska, with up to 38.4 inches in east-central Iowa. These amounts were approximately 200-350 percent of normal from the northern plains southeastward into the central United States.  All that water had to go somewhere.

            2001-Sunday-  It seems every day now
You hear people say now
Look out for the cheater
Make way for the fool hearted clown
Look out for the cheater
He's gonna build you up
Just to let you down
…..Bob Kuban and the In-Men…..Steroidically enhanced, giant headed (evidently his feet grew several sizes too) baseball player Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants wrapped up his tainted record-breaking season with his 73rd homer

            2003 – Tuesday- California deserves whatever it gets. Californians invented the concept of life-style. This alone warrants their doom…..Don DeLillo…White Noise…..Having defeated the Predator, and several Terminators,after being a Terminator himself,  actor Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected Governor of California.  Other highlights on Schwarzenegger’s resume include; Hercules in New York, The Jayne Mansfield Story, The San Pedro Beach Bums, assorted Conans and Twins (with Danny Devito).  After beating up anyone who opposed him, the Austrian born, steroidically enhanced (see Barry Bonds above) thespian prevailed over  Lt. Governor, Cruz Bustamante and 134 other candidates ( it is the land of  fruit and nuts afterall) who had replaced the  hopeless Gray Davis.  Davis had been elected to a second term less than a year earlier and became the first governor to be recalled from office since 1921, when North Dakota voters ousted one Gov. Lynn Frazier.

2009 Wednesday - The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage …….Mark Russell………..NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope discovered an enormous and previously unknown infrared ring around Saturn."This is one supersized ring," (bigger than the one Burton gave Taylor) said astronomer Anne Verbiscer.  The newly discovered belt lies at the far reaches of the Saturnian system, with an orbit tilted 27 degrees from the main ring plane. It would take about one billion Earths stacked together to fill the voluminous ring. One of Saturn's farthest moons, Phoebe, circles within the newfound ring, and is likely the source of its material. Immigrints to Earth from the ring have included; the cast of Glee, Nancy Pelosi, Rachel Maddow, Vladimir Putin, Barbara Walters, and assorted NFL wide receivers.

2013 – Tuesday Here I am baby
Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm yours
(You got my future in your hands)
Here I am baby
Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm yours
(You got my future in your hands
)…….Stevie Wonder….. The  Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman and Thomas C. Südhof  for Discoveries of Machinery Regulating Vesicle Traffic in Cells.  They were unable to identify the murderer in Agatha Christie’s And Then There were None but the did solve the mystery of how the cell organizes its transport system. Each cell is a factory that produces and exports molecules. For instance, insulin is manufactured and released into the blood and chemical signals called neurotransmitters are sent from one nerve cell to another. These molecules are transported around the cell in small packages called vesicles by either UPS or Fed Ex. The three scientist discovered the molecular principles that govern how this cargo is delivered to the right place at the right time in the cell.

Back to Calendar


National Metric Week (2nd week in October…unless you convert it to English Standard and then we don’t know when it is.        

        451 – Sunday - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…John 1:1…..At Chalcedon, a city of Bithynia in Asia Minor, the first session of the Council of Chalcedon. 150 bishops under Pope Leo the Great and the Emperor Marcian -- defined the two natures (Divine and human) in Christ against Eutyches, who was excommunicated. Eutyches insisted that Christ's humanity was absorbed in his divinity. Emperors at the time were Marcian and Pulcheria in the East andValentinian III. in the West. The Pope was Leo I. In A.D. 381 the Council of Constantinople rejected the teaching of a bishop from Syria, named Apollinaris. Apollinaris had theorized that Jesus Christ’s divine nature displaced Jesus’ human mind and will. To him, Jesus possessed only a divine nature, and therefore did not truly take on the fallen nature of humanity.

1075 –Friday- Evo pjesma o Dmitra Zvonimira. To ne pjesmica na hrvatskom bilo. …….( here's a song about Dmitra zvonimira. it does not rhyme at any Croatian) ...Dmitar Zvonimir was crowned King of Croatia.  Zvonimir was a part of the Svetoslavić branch of the House of Trpimirović none of whom could pronounce the name. He was the last native king who exerted any real power over the entire Croatian state, which he had inherited at its height.

1829Thursday Everybody's doin' a brand-new dance, now
(Come on baby, do the Loco-motion)
I know you'll get to like it if you give it a chance now
(Come on baby, do the Loco-motion)
My little baby sister can do it with me;
It's easier than learning your A-B-C's,
So come on, come on, do the Loco-motion with me.
…Little Eva…….Robert Stephenson's The Rocket emerged triumphant in The Rainhill Trials.  The directors of the Liverpool & Manchester Company were undecided as to whether to use locomotives or stationary engines on their line. So rather than flip a coin,  it was decided to hold a competition where the winning locomotive would be awarded £500. The idea being that if the locomotive was good enough, it would be the one used on the new railway.  Of the 10 locomotives originally entered for the competition only five turned up: the Rocket, Sans Pareil, Novelty, Cycloped and Perseverance. On this day,  Rocket covered 35 miles in 3 hours 12 minutes……or about what the Long Island Railroad does when you need to get home on a Friday evening. Hauling 13 tons of loaded wagons, the Rocket averaged over 12 mph. The three judges, John Rastrick, Nicholas Wood and John Kennedy, awarded the £500 first prize to the owners of the Rocket.

1480 –Friday  Well, I horde the news
there's good rockin' tonight.
Well, I horde the news
There's good rockin' tonight
….apologies to Elvis…… It was a standoff at the  Ugra river, between the forces of Akhmat Khan, Khan of the Great Horde, and the Grand Duke Ivan III of Russia.  Things didn’t go well for the Horde as  the subsequent retreat resulted in  the eventual disintegration of the Horde. What brought the Horde to the Ugra?  Relations between the Great Horde and Moscow had entered a crisis in the 1470s. On the advice of Vladimir PutinIvan III refused to acknowledge the sovereignty of Akhmad or to pay him tribute. Ahmad into an anti-Muscovite alliance with the grand prince of Lithuania and the Polish King Casimir, so they got to be Hordesters too.  Ahmad started to campaign in the late spring of 1480. Ivan III adopted defensive tactics and things didn’t go well Hordeically.

1582 – Tuesday I love, I love my calendar girl
Yeah, sweet calendar girl
I love, I love, I love my calendar girl
Each and every day of the year
…….Neil Sedaka….  A reminder that …Because of the implementation of the Gregorian calendar this day does not exist in this year in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain. Pope Gregory XIII stated that 10 days in October were to be removed from the calendar. Specifically, he erased the 5th through 14th from the month which created a very bizarre October 1582. You can imagine what people's appointment schedule's looked like…... “but we were supposed to burn the heretics today….” Henceforth every four years divisible by four would continue to be a leap year, but years divisible by 100 would not, unless they are also divisible by 400 but the 10 days would be sacrificed. The position of the extra day in a leap year was moved from the day before February 25th to the day following February 28th..

1789 – Thursday A parrot walks into a bar and asks for a scotch on the rocks, after knocking back the drink, he ask for the same again. This is also downed in one gulp, and he points his wing at the empty glass. This time the barman ask for some payment, to which the parrot replies - put it on my bill Happy Birthday, William John Swainson, English scientist  and ornithologist born in Dover Place, St Mary Newington, London. Swainson popularized the study of birds and bird watching during the Victorian Era. Swainson got tired of ictheology, studying fish, and winged it with birds.  He became the first illustrator and naturalist to use the technique of lithography - a method of printing from a flat surface (such as a smooth stone or a metal plate) that has been prepared so that the ink will only stick to the design that will be printed-  in his book Zoological Illustrations.

            1850 –Tuesday- Baby you're my equilibrium Baby you're my equilibrium
Baby you're my equilibrium
That's what you are, that's what you are Ohh …
The Jackie Boyz……Bon Anniversair/Happy Birthday, Henry Louis le Chatelier, French chemist born in Paris and famous for the discovery for which he is best known today-- Le Châtelier's principle. Announced in 1884, the principal states that when a system is in equilibrium and one of the factors affecting it is changed, the system will respond by minimizing the effect of the change. Basically, the principle predicts the direction that a chemical reaction will take when pressure, temperature, or any other condition is altered. By employing Le Châtelier's principle, scientists were able to maximize the efficiency of chemical processes. Why a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five……Groucho Marx.

            1869 –Friday-  Take me for a ride in your car-car
Take me for a ride in your car-car
Take me for a ride, take me for a ride,
Take me for a ride in your car-car
……Peter Paul and Mary……….Happy Birthday, James Frank Duryea, who, with his brother Charles Duryea invented the first automobile that was actually built and operated in the United States. In Chicago in 1895, Frank drove an improved model to win the first U.S. auto race. In 1896 their company manufactured the first commercially produced U.S. automobiles; 13 cars were sold before the company failed and the brothers went their separate ways. Both started new automobile manufacturing ventures; Frank later developed the Stevens-Duryea limousine, which was produced into the 1920s

            1871-Sunday-  The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings
. …Cassius……Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141) …or, the fault could be bovine….The Great Chicago Fire began.  It burned for over 39 hours and reduced four square miles of the city to ashes.  Definitely a pain in the ash, it was probably not started by Mrs. O’Leary’s cow but it did start at the home of Mrs. O’Leary in the cow barn at 137 DeKoven Street on Chicago’s west side.  The conflagration began on a Sunday and burned for 2 days until rain on Monday night helped extinguish it. 300 people were killed, 90,000 were left homeless and property loss was put at $200 million….and the cow was barbecued.   

          1879 –Wednesday- The winds and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators…….Edward Gibbon………. The Chilean Navy defeated the Peruvian Navy in the Battle of Angamos, Peruvian Admiral Miguel Grau was slewn in the encounter. Well, it wasn’t exactly navy vs. navy…as it was fought off Angamos Point, north of Antofagasta in Chile  between the Peruvian ironclad Huascar and the Chilean ironclads Blanco Encalada and Almirante Cochrane, assisted by the corvette Covadonga. The Pervuians surrendered after the kaputing of Admiral Grau.

1883 – Monday From the standpoint of the physics and chemistry of life this difference between normal and cancer cells is so great that one can scarcely picture a greater difference. Oxygen gas, the donor of energy in plants and animals is dethroned in the cancer cells and replaced by an energy yielding reaction of the lowest living forms, namely, a fermentation of glucose…..Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/Happy Birthday, Otto Heinrich Warburg, German physician and biochemist born in Freiburg.  His Warburg's three major fields of interest during his more than fifty years oflaboratory research were intracellular respiration, photosynthesis, and cancer.  Warburg won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1931, for his research into cellular respiration, showing that cancer thrives in anaerobic (without oxygen) or acidic conditions.  Warburg was nominated for a second Nobel Prize in 1944 for his work on fermentation, and according to some sources was awarded the second prize, but was unable to accept it owing to a 1937 decree by Hitler preventing Germans from accepting the award

1890 –Wednesday- Courage is doing what you are afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you are scared……..Happy Birthday, Eddie Rickenbacker, American pilot, WW I flying ace born in Columbus, Ohio. His twenty-six aerial victories came in only two months of combat flying.  Returning home, he became the most celebrated aviator in America.During WW2, he carried out special assignments for Henry Stimson, the Secretary of War. In October, 1942, flying in a B-17 over the Pacific, a mission to Douglas MacArthur, the plane went down in the Pacific. Rickenbacker and seven other men, rode a raft for twenty-two days before they were rescued. One man died; Rickenbacker, the oldest man in the raft, lost 54 pounds.  This launched the “Rickebacker Diet”, the South Beach Diet of its day, hundreds of overweight people jumped out of airplanes and floated in rafts for three weeks and reported big weight losses and a fondness for sushi.

1895 –Tuesday-  It's good to be king, if just for a while 
To be there in velvet, yeah, to give 'em a smile 
It's good to get high and never come down 
It's good to be king of your own little town
  ….Tom Petty……….Happy Birthday to one of our favorite kings, Zog I, King of Albania. There was no Zog II so the Zogster was it for Albania. Born Ahmed Bey Zogolli, he  became Prime Minister in 1922 and changed his name to Zog, considering "Zogolli" to be too “turkified” for an Albanian nationalist. He declared himself King Zog I in 1928. In 1939, when Mussolini invaded Albania, the Muslim, Zog fled to Britain, never to return to Albania. Mussolini ousted him in 1939 and declared Albania an Italian protectorate. He formally abdicated in 1946.

 1906 –Monday- Brush your teeth with the best toothpaste, Then rinse your mouth with industrial waste…..… Tom Lehrer ……....Happy Birthday, Harry G. Day American nutritional biochemist born in Monroe County, Iowa.  Day helped develop (with Joe Muhler and William Nebergall) the fluoride (fluoride is a waste by-product of aluminum mining) additive used in toothpaste to combat tooth decay.  In this case, Crest toothpaste. In 1955, the Food and Drug administration approved stannous fluoride for use in toothpaste. Proctor and Gamble, which had funded the research at the University of Indiana introduced Crest toothpaste in Jan 1956 with the ingredient, which they called fluoristan. While fluoride new, toothpaste wasn’t as development of toothpaste began as long ago as 300/500BC in China and India. According to Chinese history, the theories of a a learned man, Huang-Ti, led to the development of dental cream. First attempts at tooth cleaning included using abrasives such as crushed bone, crushed egg and oyster shells, which were used to clean debris from teeth. Tooth powders were the first noticeable advance and were made up of elements like powdered charcoal, powdered bark and some flavoring agents. This would be applied to teeth using a simple stick. Modern toothpastes were developed in the 1800s. A dentist called Peabody was the first to add soap to toothpaste in 1824. Chalk was first added to toothpaste by John Harris in the 1850s.

          1906-Monday- Gimme head with hair
Long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming,
Streaming, flaxen, waxen
Give me down to there hair
Shoulder length or longer
Here baby, there mama
Everywhere daddy daddy
Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair
……. James Rado, Gerome Ragni and Galt MacDermot………A German, from Todnau in the Black Forest, Karl Ludwig Nessler, demonstrated the first "permanent wave" for hair, in his beauty salon in Oxford Street, London, to an invited audience of hair stylists. Think of a cow milking machine…..that’s what Nessler’s hair curler looked like. The hair was soaked with an alkaline solution and rolled on metal rods which were then heated strongly. The process took over 5 hours.  It is very impressive that the birthday of the developer of fluoride and the demonstration of the first permanent wave took place on the same day.  Whew! Just another breatkthrough for the Gnus.

1913-Wednesday- Gilruth was one of the greatest men I worked for and with. He was the father of spaceflight and certainly never got the credit he deserved….Dr. Christopher Craft……..Happy Birthday, Robert R. Gilruth, American aerospace scientist, engineer born in in Nashwauk, Minnesota. Gilruth was a pioneer of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs. He developed the X-1, first plane to break the sound barrier.  The first airplanes to approach the speed of sound encountered a number of unexpected conditions: sharply increased drag, violent shaking of the airplane, and loss of lift and control. Airplanes that approached this threshold often broke apart and crashed, as though there existed a "sound barrier"--a speed limit that could not be broken. When a plane travels faster than 760 a sound barrier forms in front of the plane. If a plane is going at the speed of sound it is traveling at Mach 1. Gilruth organized NASA's space task group, which evolved into Project Mercury and, with Gilruth in charge, launched Alan Shepard into space as America's first astronaut in 1961. Gilruth was the first director of NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center, from 1962-72, overseeing the Gemini and Apollo missions culminating in Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's walk on the moon in 1969. His final work at NASA was early planning for the Apollo-Soyuz mission of July 1975

            1917- Q: Why don’t anteaters get sick?
A: Because they are full of antibodies! ………….Happy Birthday, Rodney Porter, British biochemist born in Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire.  Porter (with Gerald M. Edelman) was awarded the 1972 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries concerning the chemical structure of antibodies. Antibodies are the female equivalent of Unclebodies.  Antibodies, also called immunoglobulins are large y-shaped proteins which function to identify and help remove foreign antigens such as viruses and bacteria.  Antibodies are created by plasma cells which are derived from the B-cells in the immune system. Due to the fact that antibodies exist freely in the bloodstream or bound to cell membranes, they are said to be part of the humoral immune system. Porter and Edelman, working independently, broke the immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody molecule into smaller pieces and determined the structures of the pieces. They then compiled the smaller structures and determined the complete larger structure.

            1918 –Monday-  I had killed over twenty before the German major said he would make them give up. I covered him with my automatic and told him if he didn't make them stop firing I would take off his head next. And he knew I meant it. He told me if I didn't kill him, and if I stopped shooting the others in the trench, he would make them surrender. He blew a little whistle and they came down and began to gather around and throw down their guns and belts. All but one of them came off the hill with their hands up, and just before that one got to me he threw a little hand grenade which burst in the air in front of me. I had to touch him off. The rest surrendered without any more trouble. There were nearly 100 of them. …In one of those conspicuous acts of heroism peculiar to  war, U.S. Corporal Alvin C. York was credited with single-handedly killing 25 German soldiers and capturing 132 in the Argonne Forest near the Meuse River in France. York and his battalion were given the task of seizing German-held positions across a valley; after encountering difficulties, the small group of soldiers—numbering some 17 men—were fired upon by a German machine-gun nest at the top of a nearby hill. The gunners cut down nine men, including a superior officer, leaving York in charge of the squadron. The action saved York's small detachment from annihilation by a German machine-gun nest and won the soldier from Tennessee the Congressional Medal of Honor.  York was promoted to the rank of sergeant and hailed as the greatest civilian soldier of the war by several Allied leaders. He was given a hero's welcome upon his return to the United States in 1919.  Gary Cooper would play him in the movie, Sergeant York.

            1952 –Wednesday-  Dr. Zabor: And you better get some laughs this time, or you'll be collecting unemployment insurance………..The premiere of the cinematic triumph, Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla.  The movie, thought to have a profound influence on the works of Ingmar Bergman and Francois Truffaut, starred, yes Bela Lugosi and Martin & Lewis wannabees, Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo. It also featured Milton Newberger  ...  Bongo, the Witch Doctor.  IMbD tells us that the plot involved entertainers Mitchell and Petrillo parachuting into the jungles of the Pacific island of Cola-Cola, where they meet primitive tribesmen, the chief's sarong-clad daughter Nona, and mad scientist Dr. Zabor (played by guess who) conducting experiments in evolution.  The movie earned  $50,000 at the box office.

1955 –Saturda, ……. Love is a many splendored thing
It's the April rose
That only grows in the early spring
Love is nature's way of giving
A reason to be living
The golden crown that makes a man a kin
g……….. The Four Aces' Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing hit #1 on the Billboard Charts replacing Mitch Miller’s Yellow Rose of Texas.  Yellow Rose would return to the top spot the following week.  But wait.  There’s more. Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing would again knock Yellow Rose off the top the following week.  Then Roger William’s Autumn Leaves sent Splendored Thing off ………….but then……….. Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing, like Jason in the Friday the 13th movies, was back again from November 5-25 only to be buried by Tennessee Ernie Ford’s Sixteen Tons on November 26. And that was it.

1956 –Monday- Is that the best game you (Don Larsen) ever pitched? - Associated Press Reporter in the locker Room……. New York Yankees right-hander Don Larsen pitched the first no-hitter in the history of the World Series. In fact, it was a perfect game--that is, there were no runs, no hits and no errors, and no batter reached first base – 27 men up and 27 men out. The victims (as usual) in the 2-0 victory, were the Brooklyn Dodgers.  The Yankee runs were driven in by Mickey Mantle and Hank Bauer. The last batter of the game (this was game 5 of the series) was Dale Mitchell, the Dodgers’ pinch hitter. He fouled off the 1-2 pitch and then watched the third strike, a fastball, over the edge of home plate. Ump Babe Pinelli, in the last ball/strike call of his career, called it. Larson, a journeyman who had actually had a 3 win 21 loss record for the Baltimore Orioles in 1954, pitched the only perfect game in World Series history. The Dodgers would win the next game 1-0. Game 7 was no contest as the Yankees Johnny Kucks shut out Brookly, 9-0.

1967 –Sunday- He was a man full of hatred ... Che Guevara executed dozens and dozens of people who never once stood trial and were never declared guilty … In his own words, he said the following: "At the smallest of doubt we must execute." And that's what he did at the Sierra Maestra and the prison of Las Cabanas……Armando Valladares, Cuban dissident imprisoned by the revolutionary regime in 1960,…… Che Guevara kaput. An Bolivian guerrilla force led by peace loving Cuban Communist revolutionary Che Guevara was defeated in a skirmish with a special detachment of the Bolivian army. Guevara was wounded, captured, and executed the next day.  His severed hands were cut from his body and put in formaldehyde to preserve his fingerprints, in case Fidel Castro tried to claim that the corpse was not Che's . Wouldn’t have happened if he stayed in Cuba.

1970  Thursday You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me…….Soviet author Alexander I Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The 51 year writer of the novels One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, The First Circle and The Cancer Ward was cited by the Swedish Academy, which makes the annual literature award, "for the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature." Solzhenitsyn was a leading writer and critic of Soviet internal oppression. The leaders of the Workers Paradise demonstrated their displeasure over Solzhenitsyn's writings by preventing him from personally accepting his Nobel Prize in 1970. In 1974, he was expelled from the Soviet Union for treason, and he moved to the United States.

1971 – Friday -The French Connection opened spawning hundreds of future movie car chases. Directed by William Friedkin and starring Gene Hackman, Roy Schieder, Fernando Rey, and Tony LoBianco in the story of two tough New York City cops trying to intercept a huge heroin shipment coming from France. The tagline - A $32,000,000 chase turns into the American thriller of the year! The inevitable sequel, A sequel, French Connection II (Gene Hackman was back as was Fernando Rey but Schieder had gone on to bigger and better things  -Jaws) appeared in 1975, and in 1986, NBC  aired a made-for-TV movie, Popeye Doyle, starring Ed O'Neill in the title role.

1982 – Friday  The government spokesman has no time to comment on such meetings,….government spokesman Jerzy Urban……Solidarity does not exist…. `An attempt to revive it is illegal……Jerzy Urban…….The government of  Poland banned Solidarity and all trade unions.  Solidarity was founded to unite the regional trade unions, and Lech Wasa was elected chairman. The movement won economic reforms and free elections before pressure from the Soviet Union forced the Polish government to suppress the union. Martial law was put into effect.  

1991 – Tuesday  This is a story about a land of a thousand islands, her magical nature and rich heritage, her great Men whose great deeds have forever etched the name of Croatia in large letters on the map of the world. This is a story about a land whose beauties have been celebrated since ancient times. From Cassiodorus, who wrote of the divine life led by Patricians on her shores, to Dante, who wrote his immortal verses, enthralled by the epic scenes of the blue expanse, and all the way to George Bernard Shaw, who found his paradise on Earth right here. Croatia has always been a place of true inspiration……Croatia Tourist Board………….Sretan Rodendan!/ Happy Birthday. After a  Croatian referendum on independence was held in May 1991, with 93% of voters supporting the independence the Croatian Sabor proclaimed the Croatian independence on June 25.  On 8 October, the Sabor decided to end relations with Yugoslavia. Croatia voted to sever constitutional relations with Yugoslavia, making the country fully independent.  Declaring and getting were two different things however, as it  took more than four years, during which Croatia suffered continual warfare, thanks to Serbs who wanted their own independent state within Croatia before independence was secure while leaving the country was devastated.  

2001 – Monday There's a somebody I'm longin' to see
I hope that he, turns out to be
Someone who'll watch over m
e …..George & Ira Gershwin………President George W. Bush announced the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security.  The addition layers of bureaucracy is now the executive department of the federal government charged with protecting the security of the American homeland as its main responsibility. Its primary missions are preventing terrorists attacks within the United States, reducing the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism, and minimizing the damage from potential attacks and natural disasters.  Well that certainly worked out well. 

2005 Saturday-  I feel the earth move under my feet
I feel the sky tumbling down,
Tumbling down, tumbling down
.....Carole  King……7.6-magnitude earthquake hit the Kashmir border region between India and Pakistan. An estimated 70,000 people—nearly half of them children--were killed and 70,000 more were injured. More than 3 million were left homeless and without food and basic supplies.  The epicenter was near the capital of Pakistani administered Kashmir, Muzaffarabad.  The USGS reported that earthquakes and active faults in northern Pakistan and adjacent parts of India and Afghanistan are the direct result of the Indian subcontinent moving northward at a rate of about 40 mm/yr (1.6 inches/yr) and colliding with the Eurasian continent. This collision is causing uplift that produces the highest mountain peaks in the world including the Himalayan, the Karakoram, the Pamir and the Hindu Kush ranges. As the Indian plate moves northward, it is being subducted or pushed beneath the Eurasian plate.

2012 – Monday These groundbreaking discoveries have completely changed our view of the development and cellular specialisation. We now understand that the mature cell does not have to be confined forever to its specialised state….Nobel Prize Committee……..John B. Gurdon of  the University of Cambridge in England and Shinya Yamanaka  of Kyoto University in Japanwere awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize for Medicine for their work on reprogramming end stage cells to become pluripotent - Pertaining to the ability of a cell to differentiate into many cell types -  This would help lay the foundation for regenerative medicine, the idea of rebuilding the body with tissues generated from its own cells. Cellular reprogramming led to the first cloned animal—a frog—and to the first cloned mammal, Dolly the sheep. It also paved the way for deriving embryonic-like stem cells without destroying human embryos

2013 – Tuesday  A Higgs-Boson walks into a bar. The bartender says "You know, there were some guys in here looking for you”……The tiny Higgs boson won a big Nobel prize in physics for Peter Higgs of England and Francoist Englert of Belgium.  Now follow closely, take notes, even read out loud if you wish….Our entire universe is made of 12 different matter particles and four forces.  Among those 12 particles are six quarks and six leptons. Quarks make up protons and neutrons, while members of the lepton family include the electron and the electron neutrino, its neutrally charged counterpart. Scientists think that leptons and quarks are indivisible; that you can't break them apart into smaller particles. Along with all those particles, the standard model also acknowledges four forces: gravity, electromagnetic, strong and weak.  Each one of those four fundamental forces has a corresponding carrier particle, or boson, that acts upon matter. And that’s what everyone was looking for. They looked under pillows of the couch, under the car seat, behind the toilet and even in the sock drawer.  Higgs had proposed the idea of the particle during the 1960s.  It was finally confirmed by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) CERN on July 4, 2012.

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1003-   ...so one day my mother sat me down and explained that I couldn't become an explorer because everything in the world had already been discovered. I'd been born in the wrong century, and I felt cheated …..Ransom Riggs…….Leif Erikson Day, celebrating the discovery of the New World  by the Viking explorer who was always the Leif of the party. Erikson landed in L'Anse aux Meadows, Canada. Leif, also spelled Ericsson, or Eiriksson, was the second of three sons of Erik the Red, who established a settlement in Greenland after he was exiled from Iceland. He is thought to have visited Norway in around 1000 where he was converted to Christianity by King Olaf I, who sent him back to Greenland to convert the settlers there. Allegedly, on his voyage to Greenland, he sailed off-course and arrived in a place he called 'Vinland', because of the abundant grapes growing there, and the general fertility of the land. In another version - the Groenlendinga saga - he heard of a land in the west from an Icelandic trader, and went to find it. In a third, he had heard about the Winter Carnival in Quebec and wanted to learn to play hockey. The precise identity of Vinland remains uncertain, with various locations on the North American coast identified. In 1963 archeologists found ruins of a Viking-type settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows, in northern Newfoundland, which correspond to Leif's description of Vinland.  Leif Erikson Day is SpongeBob's favorite holiday, next to April Fool's Day.

1201 –Tuesday I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam; I looked into the soul of the boy sitting next to me………..Woody Allen …….Bon Anniversaire/ Happy Birthday, Robert de Sorbon, French theologian born in, yes Sorbon, a village in the Ardennes. He was the confessor to King Louis IX (St. Louis), and founder of the Sorbonne, created in 1253 and confirmed by the King in 1257.  Initially the courses focused on theology mainly to poor students. The first “class” consisted of only 20  students but by the end of the  13th Century Sorbonne had more than 20,000 students from all over Europe.

1514 –Friday   Church bells may sing, 
And surely, darling, the angels will sing.
I'll tell you, darling, 
You're the queen of my throne.
You should have known, sweetheart.
Ling a ling a ling a ling a ling ding dong, 
I love you, darling, and I want you for my own.
I'll give you any, anything that I own,
  ……The Willows………….A social note, Marriage of  52 year old King Louis XII of France and 18 year old, Mary Tudor, sister of English King Henry VIII.  The bride wore Vera Wang with jewels from Harry Winston, the groom was resplendent in a rented tuxedo by Pierre’s Formals of the Quay D”Orsay.  Music was provided by Jean Jacque and his Accordionettes.  The affair was catered by Collette’s Seines You Ate Well of the Rue Rivoli.  Perhaps a bit energetic on the honeymoon, Louis went kaput 3 months later.

1582 – Saturday, I love, I love my calendar girl
Yeah, sweet calendar girl
I love, I love, I love my calendar girl
Each and every day of the year
…….Neil Sedaka….  A reminder that …Because of the implementation of the Gregorian calendar this day does not exist in this year in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain. Pope Gregory XIII stated that 10 days in October were to be removed from the calendar. Specifically, he erased the 5th through 14th from the month which created a very bizarre October 1582. You can imagine what people's appointment schedule's looked like…... “but we were supposed to burn the heretics today….” Henceforth every four years divisible by four would continue to be a leap year, but years divisible by 100 would not, unless they are also divisible by 400 but the 10 days would be sacrificed. The position of the extra day in a leap year was moved from the day before February 25th to the day following February 28th..

1604 – Saturday Someday you will find me
Caught beneath the landslide
In a Champagne Supernova in the sky
Someday you will find me
Caught beneath the landslide
In a Champagne Supernova
A Champagne Supernova in the sky…..
Oasis……..The supernova now called "Kepler's nova" was first sighted in the constellation Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer. Astronomer Johannes Kepler observed it from the time of its appearance as an apparently new star. It encouraged him to write the cleverly titled, The New Star in 1606.  Several observers spotted the supernova on Oct. 9, 1604. Kepler didn't see it until Oct. 17, due to cloudy skies in his part of the world. But he studied the event so extensively that it was named after him. The Kepler supernova is now a remnant.  However, Kepler is selling the naming rights to his Nova, it may become the Wells Fargo Nova, the Pepsi Nova, or the Kentucky Fried Chicken Nova. A supernova is the explosive death of a massive star whose energy output causes its expanding gases to glow brightly for weeks or months. A supernova remnant is the glowing, expanding gaseous remains of a supernova explosion.

1635 – Tuesday  Dawn, go away
Please go away
Although I know
I want you to stay
Dawn, go away
Please go away
Baby, don't cry
It's better this way
Ah, ah, ah
……..The Four Seasons…….Roger Williams (who also had a #1 hit in November of 1955 with Autumn Leaves)  was kicked out of  the Massachusetts Bay Colony by the General Court of Massachusetts which had discovered that he was a fan of the New York Yankees. In addition, Williams had spoken out against the right of civil authorities to punish religious dissension and to confiscate Indian land.  Williams went to Rhode Island, where he founded Providence. He worked as a farmer, Indian trader, and civil magistrate. While visiting the Indians, Williams worked on a dictionary, entitled A Key into the Language of America  in 1643.

1776 – Wednesday San Francisco, open your Golden Gate
You'll let nobody wait outside your door
San Francisco, here is your wanderin' one
Saying I'll wander no more.
…..Judy Garland…………On the other side of the continent from the British Colonies and their fight for independence, Father Francisco Palou founded Mission San Francisco de Asis in what is now San Francisco, California. Asis is located in the San Francisco Bay which had been discovered by accident when Gaspar de Portal's 1769 expedition was looking too avoid paying the tolls on the Golden Gate Bridge as they searched for Monterey Bay. It was immediately seen as an important naval base for the Spaniards to protect their colony from outside invaders. In March, 1776, a scouting party under the direction of Lt. Don Jose Joaquin Moraga visited the area. He returned to Monterey to convey the news and received his commission to establish a presidio and mission in the name of Carlos III of Spain. Lieut. Jose Joaquin Moraga with a small expeditionary band of 16 soldiers left Monterey Presidio on June 17, 1776, for San Francisco bay to establish both a presidio and a mission here. Father Francisco Palou and Father Pedro Cambon accompanied the expedition as founders of the mission. They were welcomed by a small community early hippies who got them high, tie dyed their armor, and made them listen to Grateful Dead records with extended guitar noodling.

1831 – Sunday Why so much grief for me? No man will hurl me down to Death, against my fate. And fate? No one alive has ever escaped it, neither brave man nor coward, I tell you - it’s born with us the day that we are born …..Homer…….Capo d'Istria kaput. Joannes Antonios Capodistrias or Kapodistrias actively elicited support for Greek independence from the Ottoman Turks. In 1827 the Greek national assembly elected him president of Greece. Kapodistrias was a dedicated reformer, and he helped Greece secure larger boundaries than it otherwise would have.  Petros Mavromichales, aka as Petrobey, had also played a leading part in the War of Independence. When he was brought under guard to an appointed interview, Capo d'Istria, refused to see him.  Bad move.  While being sent back to prison – his brother had led a revolt -  Petrobey called out to his son George and his brother Constantine, to take revenge. Next daythe two placed themselves at the door of the church where Capo d'Istria went to worship. As he passed in Constantine shot him down, and as he fell George thrust a knife into his heart rendering him kaput.

1858 –Saturday I'm gonna sit right down and write myself a letter
And make believe it came from you
I'm gonna write words oh so sweet
They're gonna knock me off my feet
A lotta kisses on the bottom
I'll be glad I got 'em
…..Billy Williams…………Mail service via stagecoach between San Francisco and St. Louis was started. Actully, the mail left on Sept. 15 and arrived today. It took 23 days, four hours for that first run.............or about the time it takes some mail to be delivered, especially when it is a bill you are mailing today that has to be there in two days max. Businessman and financier John Butterfield of Utica, New York won a csix-year, $600,000-a-year federal contract to transport mail twice a week between The Mound City  and Shakey Town in 25 days. At the time, it was the largest land-mail contract ever awarded in the United States, requiring mail deliveries year-round.
Earlier, the fastest service across the continent had been provided by the San Antonio and San Diego Mail Line across approximately 1,475 miles of desert and mountains between the two points in about 52 days.

1900 - Tuesday You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are ….Scrooge to Marley…..A Christmas Carol……….Happy Birthday, Alastair Sim, Scottish actor. Sim played Ebenezer Scrooge in the best movie version of  Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.  There have been six in all, Sim’s Scrooge in the 1951 version set the standard. They are: A Christmas Carol (1938) starring Reginald Owen, Gene Lockhart, Kathleen Lockhart, June Lockhart, Leo G. Carroll, and Terry Kilburn. A Christmas Carol (1951) starring Alastair Sim, Meryvn Johns, Michael Hordern and Glyn Dearman 86 min. Scrooge (1970) starring Albert Finney, Sir Alec Guinness, Edith Evans and Kenneth More. 115 min. A Christmas Carol (1984) starring George C. Scott, David Warner, Susannah York, Frank Finlay, Edward Woodward and Nigel Davenport. 100 min. Scrooged (1988) starring Bill Murray, John Forsythe, Karen Allen, Carol Kane, and Bobcat Goldthwait. 111 min.  A Christmas Carol (1999) starring Patrick Stewart, Nick Adams, Desmond Barrit, Charlotte Brittain. And,(dinner conversation for a slow evening) 7 Christmas Carol cartoons; An All Dogs Christmas Carol (1998) Christmas Carol: The Movie. (2001) A Flintstones Christmas Carol (1994) The Jetsons Christmas Carol (1985) Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983)  Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol (1962), The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

            1919- Thursday  As Jackson departed from the Grand Jury room, a small boy clutched at his sleeve and tagged along after him "Say it ain't so, Joe," he pleaded.  "Say it ain't so." "Yes kid, I'm afraid it is," Jackson replied.  "Well, I never would've thought it," the boy said. ……….. Chicago Herald and Examiner (9/30/1920) ….The Cincinnati Reds won the World Series defeating the Chicago White Sox five games to three. The problem was, eight members (including pitchers Eddie Cicotte and Claude (Lefty) Williams – who started and lost 3 games- , outfielders “Shoeless” Joe Jackson and Happy Felsch, first baseman Chick Gandil, shortstop Swede Risberg, third baseman Buck Weaver and reserve infielder Fred McMullin) of the White Sox had been bribed to “throw” the World Series. This was the infamous Black Sox scandal (read Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series by Eliot Asinof). It wasn’t really a big secret, the heavily favored Sox suddenly became the underdogs and discussions of throwing the games was fairly open.  After a lengthy investigation in 1920, the members of Chicago's tainted team were amazingly acquitted the following year despite their own confessions (which were recanted later). All of the players involved were banned from baseball by new commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis because of their undeniable link to gamblers- most likely New York gambler, Arnold Rothstein. 

1921 Sunday  Squeezin’ out a thin dime ‘til there’s no one hanging on my arm / I’ve gambled on a third time, a fool will tell you it’s a charm. …..Clint Black Temporarily flushed with success before becoming kaput, a Royal Flush  killed a poker player.  The  once in a lifetime hand left  the poor man dead.  It appears that  a retired tailor in New York was playing poker in a 10 cent limit poker game when he was dealt a royal flush and thus sewing up the win. He dropped dead. The medical examiner diagnosed a cerebral hemorrhage bought on by the Royal Flush. No word as to the suit.  A royal flush is 10, Jack, Queen, King, ace of the same suit.  We found this on the What Happened On….This Day in History website along with the inevitable Xeroxian cut and pastes but we were unable to find any other references.  Still, correct or incorrect, it is too good to ignore

1934 Tuesday Demoralize the enemy from within by surprise, terror, sabotage, assassination. This is the war of the future……..Adolf Hitler………Ah, those loveable Eastern European killers. In an assassination  twofer, Alexander, King of Yugoslavia, and French foreign minister, Louis Barthou were assassinated by Croatian terrorists in Marseilles. Alexander I was the first King of Yugoslavia, and the last King of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. As a precurser to the Zapruder movie of 1963, assassination was one of the first assassinations captured on film: the shooting occurred right in front of the cameraman. The two were being driven in a car through the streets of Marseille when a gunman, Vlado Chernozemski, stepped from the crowds and fired over ten shots. The King was killed immediately but Barthou would succumb due to horrible medical care.  Chernozemski, was knocked  down with a sabre by a French mounted officer and then either beaten to death by the crowd or shot by the police or both. He was a Bulgarian who belonged to a Macedonian revolutionary organisation, which wanted to secede from Yugoslavia, and was allegedly in league with Croatian separatists

1940 –Wednesday  Sitting on a cornflake waiting for the van to come
Corporation teeshirt, stupid bloody Tuesday
Man you been a naughty boy. You let your face grow long
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen
I am the walrus, goo goo goo joob
………..Happy Birthday, John Lennon, born in Liverpool, and  one of the founders of the Beatles, arguably the most influential rock group of all time.  Rolling Stone calls Lennon was the most iconic Beatle. He was group's most committed rock & roller, its social conscience, and its slyest verbal wit. With the Beatles, he wrote or co-wrote dozens of classics – from She Loves You to Come Together ….but then he also wrote John and Yoko, and the pretentious Power to the People…..but he did keep PaulMcCartney from toppling over the edge into a stew of musical sap.

            1940 – Wednesday The only Yankee first baseman I’ve ever seen who even came close to Don Mattingly defensively was Joe Pepitone, who could have been one of the greatest Yankees ever if he paid a little more attention to playing…Whitey Ford…….And……this is just too much…….born on the exact same day as John Lennon…..former Yankee first baseman, Joe Pepitone.  Pepitone could have been a great player and in New York that would mean iconic status but wasted his career in a muck of drugs,  lazy play and bad behavior.

1961-Monday (Hit the road Jack and don't you come back no more, no more, no more, no more.)
(Hit the road Jack and don't you come back no more.)
What you say?
(Hit the road Jack and don't you come back no more, no more, no more, no more.)
(Hit the road Jack and don't you come back no more.)
Woah Woman, oh woman, don't treat me so mean,
You're the meanest old woman that I've ever seen.
I guess if you said so
I'd have to pack my things and go. (That's right)
…………Ray Charles' Hit The Road, Jack hits #1 on the charts, pushing out Buddy Holly wannabee, Bobby Vee’s Take Good Care of My Baby. Charles would in turn be replaced by Dion’s Runaroud Sue.

 1963 –Wednesday  Yeder barg-aroif hot zein barg-arop. (Every way up has its way down- Yiddish saying)………Damn Dam… The Vaiont Gorge is  located in a section of the Alps known for instability. Following  heavy rains—about 90 inches by October 9, the wet land could no longer hold and set off a domino effect as massive landslide came crashing down from Mount Toc, causing a huge pile of dirt and rocks to plunge into a reservoir at about 70 miles per hour. The impact of the debris caused an immense wave of water to rise as high as 300 feet above the level of the dam. The displaced water crashed over the dam and into the Piave River below. It gushed down the river and engulfed the town of Longarone. Within minutes the town had virtually vanished and nearly 2,000 people were dead. The tsunami-like wave then rushed down to San Martino, where it killed hundreds more. As a postscript, in the aftermath of the disaster, Mario Pancini, the engineer of the dam project, was summoned to court to answer questions regarding what was known of the geology of the area prior to the dam’s construction. He killed himself before his scheduled appearance

1965 -Saturday Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they're here to stay
Oh, I believe in yesterday
…….On John Lennon’s  25th birthday, The Beatles' Yesterday landed at  #1 on the Billboard Charts replacing the McCoys ode to Baroque music, Hang on Sloopy. Yesterday would in turn be replaced by the Rolling Stones appropriately titled, Get Off My Cloud.

1969: Thursday To forbid us anything is to make us have a mind for it. …Michel de Montaigne ……..BBC's Top Of The Pops refused  to play the Number One hit in the country for the first time. The song, Serge Gainsbourg's Je T'Aime Moi Non Plus, (I you love me no more )is considered one of the first "orgasm records," .  That’s a record that features heavy female breathing and moaning. The moaning would continue on Donna Summer’s Love To Love You Baby, Chackacha’s Jungle Fever, and French Kiss by Lil’ Louis.

1879- Tuesday What Youth deemed crystal, Age finds out was dew …..Robert Browning………Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! /Happy Birthday, Max von Laue, German physicist born in Pfaffendorf.  He won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1914 for measuring the wavelength of x-rays by their diffraction through the closely spaced atoms in a crystal….we believe it was either Billy Crystal or Crystal Gale… This work led to the techniques of X-ray spectroscopy, used in nuclear physics. And what, you may ask, is X-ray spectroscopy?  Why a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five…..Groucho Marx.  It  is a method to investigate atomic local structure as well as electronic states. Basically, an X-ray strikes an atom and excites a core electron that can either be promoted to an unoccupied level, or ejected from the atom; both of these processes will create a core hole.

1989 – Monday Well I saw the thing comin' out of the sky
It had the one long horn, one big eye
I commenced to shakin' and I said "ooh-eee"     It looks like a purple eater to me
……Sheb Wooley………..An official news agency in the soon to be former Soviet Union reported the landing of a UFO in Voronezh. Several young children who claimed to have seen a three-eyed alien with a robot escort. The alien was said to be about nine foot tall. The craft, according to eye witness testimony, landed on the outskirts of the city. Shortly thereafter, the tall alien appeared, and upon seeing the young lad, shot a type of weapon at him, causing him to vanish before the eyes of the other people around him. The pilot of the craft, Vladimir Putin, would later be elected president and then become de-facto dictator of Russia.  

1992 – Friday I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time. …..Jack London……………Speaking of  extraterrestrial objects (see above) ….Can you imagine her call to the insurance company? A large meteor, seen from Kentucky to New York, was observed at 7:50 pm EDT. It landed as a stone  meteorite with  the size and mass of an extremely heavy bowling ball........................and crashed onto the Chevrolet Malibu of Mrs. Michelle Knapp of Wells Street in Peekskill, NY.  Startled when she heard the explosive crash outside her home,   the 18-year old Knapp ventured out to discover a warm, dark mass still smelling of sulfur in a small impact pit beneath her demolished car. What the police report initially ascribed to vandals was in fact the remnant of a fireball seen by thousands as it tore through the early evening sky from Kentucky to New York. Since getting hit by the meteorite, the car has toured Germany, Switzerland, Japan, France and the US.  And remember, because there will be a quiz when we finish this book…. A meteoroid is a rock in space; a meteor is a rock that's hit our atmosphere; a meteorite is a rock that's hit the ground.

2007 Tuesday Nanotechnology will let us build computers that are incredibly powerful. We'll have more power in the volume of a sugar cube than exists in the entire world today ….Ralph Merkle…….Putting aside the Franco Prussian War, World War I, and World War II, France and Germany shared the Nobel Prize for physics as Albert Fert, of France, and Peter Grunberg, of Germany, won  the Prize for based on their discovery of “giant magnetoresistance,” which is, as everyone knows, the change in electrical resistance of some materials in response to an applied magnetic field. Since giant magnetoresistance involves nanotechnology, it’not really an oxymoron. It refers to a large change in resistance (typically 10 to 20%) when the devices are subjected to a magnetic field, compared with a maximum sensitivity of a few percent for other types of magnetic sensors.

2009 Friday. What did I win mine for? ……Barack Obama…..President Barack Obama was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize being Barack Obama.  Jimmy Carter had also won the Prize so the achievement comes with a grain of salt.   Theodore Roosevelt won in  1906 for brokering an end to the Russo-Japanese War and  Woodrow Wilson won in 1919 for, well, sounded good at the time but the U.S never joined the League of Nations and world war would resume 20 years later.

2009-  Friday They got beautiful pictures of the event, but that's not why we spent $79 million, Ice on the moon is more valuable than gold….. Michio Kaku….NASA's LCROSS spacecraft and its Centaur booster rocket plunged one after another into a shadowed crater near the Moon's south pole.  The spectacular double-impact was shown live on NASA TV from the point of view of the LCROSS spacecraft.  NASA scientists planned the lunar double whammy to see whether water, in the form of small ice crystals, is mixed in rock and dirt on the Moon’s surface. After alerting skywatchers all over the world to watch for a spectacular explosion, it turned into the Edsel of  planned extraterrestrial explosions.

Back to Calendar


732 –Monday- And in the shock of the battle the men of the North seemed like a sea that cannot be moved. Firmly they stood, one close to another, forming as it were a bulwark of ice [emphasis added]; and with great blows of their swords they hewed down the Arabs. Drawn up in a band around their chief, the people of the Austrasians [Franks] carried all before them. Their tireless hands drove their swords down to the breasts [of the foe……Mozarabic Chronicle of 754……..The Battle of Tours – Yes, it was color brochures at 20 paces as Liberty Travel battled the forces of Eugene Fodor.  At the other  the Battle of Tours near Poitiers, France, Frankish leader Charles Martel, a Christian, defeated a large army of Spanish Moors – one of many Muslim attacks on Europe, halting the Muslim advance into Western Europe. Abd-ar-Rahman, the Muslim governor of Cordoba, was killed in the fighting, and the Moors retreated from Gaul, never to return in such force. It was not the Moor the Merrier for them. The Battle of Tours is considered the high water mark of the Moslem invasions of Western Europe. We note,  Muslim chroniclers stated that Abd al-Rahman was killed during the battle on October 25. Christian sources stated that the battle took place on a Saturday in October of 732. The four Saturdays in October of that year were the 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th.  You pays your money you takes your choice.

            1580 –Friday- Well, I think I'm goin' out of my head
Yes, I think I'm goin' out of my head
Over you, Over you……Little Anthony & the Imperials…..
After a three-day siege, the English Army beheaded over 600 Irish and Papal soldiers and civilians at Dún an Óir, Ireland. On September 10, 600 Papal troops commanded by Sebastiano di San Guisseppi (Italians and Spaniards), landed in Smerwick. They had been paid for and sent by Pope Gregory to aid the Desmond rebellion (this was the second Desmond Rebellion - staged by the Earls of Desmond against Elizabeth I's attempts to impose her control on the province of Munster even though she deemed cheddar a superior cheese.  Desmond was unable to  link up with the expeditionary force. After a three-day siege, Commander Di san Giuseppe surrendered. Grey de Wilton, ordered the massacre of the invasion forces, sparing only the commanders. Italian and Spanish troops, and Irish men and women, were beheaded and their bodies thrown into the sea.

             1731-Wednesday- Q: If H-two-O is the formula for water, what is the formula for ice?
A: H-two-O-CUBED….
Happy Birthday Henry Cavendish, discoverer of the hydrogen in the compound nature of water. Cavendish an English chemist and physicist was one of the great minds in science history.  He was also a notable eccentric.  He was very shy and had difficulty speaking with people in social situations.  He was even more shy with women and communicated with his female servants via notes.  He was so shy, in fact, that he told almost no one about the extent of his work.  He performed numerous scientific investigations, but published only twenty articles and no books. His experiments on electricity were only published a century after they were performed, when Scottish mathematician and scientist, James Maxwell rediscovered them in 1879. Cavendish's experiments included the investigation of capacitance (a measure of the amount of electric charge stored (or separated) for a given electric potential). In his experiments, he measured the strength of a current by shocking himself and estimating the magnitude of the pain (remember this was BEFORE the work of the Marquis de Sade). In addition to his work with gases (he discovered what Lavoisier would later call hydrogen), Cavendish also used a sensitive torsion balance to measure the value of the gravitational constant G. This allowed him to calculate the mass of the Earth. Cavendish later changed his name to Butch Cavendish, migrated to the United States and led a vicious gang of outlaws who ambushed a group of Texas Rangers.  The only survivor became the Lone Ranger.

1770- Wednesday I've got a mule, her name is Sal, 
15 miles on the Erie Canal
She's a good old worker and a good old pal, 
15 miles on the Erie Canal
We've hauled some barges in our day
filled with lumber, coal and hay And we know every inch of the way from 
Albany to Buffalo.
.…. Happy Birthday Benjamin Wright American engineer born in Wethersfield, Connecticut.  Wright  directed the construction of the Erie Canal. A one-time judge, he helped survey the Erie Canal route. When the Erie Canal was
finally funded in 1817 and canal construction began, Wright was engineer in charge of the middle section. With time New York Governor De Witt Clinton appointed Wright chief engineer. The first boat to travel on a portion of the canal, the Chief Engineer,
was named in his honor.
1780 –Tuesday-  You better stop Look around Here it comes, here it comes, here it comes, here it comesHere comes your nine-teenth nervous breakdown. ….Rolling Stones……Happy Birthday  John Abercrombie, Scottish physician born in Aberdeen. 
Abercrombie was
 a member of the famous Edinburgh School of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He was the  first to treat neuropathology (scientific study of diseases of the nervous system.) as a separate entity and  is best known through his
 Pathological and Practical Researches on Diseases of the Brain and Spinal Cord (1828), the first textbook
of neuropathology
1780 –Tuesday- Here I am, rock you like a hurricane
Here I am, rock you like a hurricane
……The Scorpions……The Great Hurricane of 1780.  Considered the deadliest Atlantic tropical cyclone of all time, about 22,000 people died when the storm pounded Barbados, Martinique, and Sint Eustatius
 in the Lesser Antilles between October 10 and October 16. Thousands of deaths also occurred offshore. The hurricane struck the Caribbean in the midst of the American Revolution and took a heavy toll on the British and French fleets contesting for
control of the area..
1796 –Monday-10 millipedes = 1 centipede; 2000 mockingbirds = two kilomockingbirds; 1 milliHelen = the amount of beauty required to launch a single ship According to tradition, the official metric system was born. The Oct 10 (10/10) date was chosen since it seems to signify the base 
10 way of using measurements. Most historians agree that Gabriel Mouton, the vicar of St. Paul's Church in Lyons, France, is the “founding father” of the metric system. He proposed a decimal system of measurement in 1670. Mouton based it on the length of one
minute of arc (no relation to Joan of Arc or Noah’s for that matter – a minute of arc is a unit of angular distance equal to a 60th of a degree) of a great circle of the Earth (now called a nautical mile, 1852 meters). He also proposed the swing-length of a pendulum with a
frequency of one beat per second as the unit of length (about 25 cm). A pendulum beating with this length would have been fairly easy to produce, thus facilitating the widespread distribution of uniform standards. So they went from the pits to the pendulum.

1813 Sunday-  I wish that every young man when he begins to write music would not concern himself with being a melodist, a harmonist, a realist, an idealist or a futurist or any other such devilish pedantic things. Melody and harmony should be simply tools in the hands of the artist, with which he creates music; and if a day comes when people stop talking about the German school, the Italian school, the past, the future, etc., etc., then art will perhaps come into its own. Buon Compleano/Happy Birthday Joe Green, aka, Giuseppe Verdi, Italian composer born at Roncole, Parma. He is famous for the themes of freedom, heroism, love and liberty which is evident in his works. He wrote mostly Italian grand operas, also marches, symphonies, church music and secular music. Verdi's first opera, Oberto, was brought to the stage at La Scala in November 1839. He began work on his next opera, Un Giorno di Regno but….talk about heartbreaking…… he was interrupted when, one by one, his family fell ill. Over the course of a few weeks, Verdi lost his son, his daughter, and his wife to illness. To complete the tragedy, Un Giorno  was a complete failure. Joe Green’s best know compositions include, Nabucco, Ernani, Rigoletto, "Il trovatore, "La traviata, Don Carlos, Aida,Messa da Requiem, Otello and Falstaff.

1817 –- You don't need a weather man
To know which way the wind blows
…..Bob Dylan…………… Hartelijk gefeliciteerd!/Happy Birthday Christophorus Henricus Didericus Buys Ballot , Dutch meteorologist born inKloetinge. Buys Ballot (sounds like a typical New York City election strategy) is  particularly remembered for his observation in 1857 that the wind blows at right angles to the atmospheric pressure gradient.  Buys-Ballot also conducted one of the most famous experiments to confirm the Doppler shift.  He put a group of musicians on a train and took up his position on a station platform. He asked the train driver to rush past him as fast as he could while the musicians played and held a constant note, and was able to detect the Doppler shift (as a change in pitch) as the train passed him

1845 –Friday- without a Respectable Navy,Alas America! ….John Paul Jones…………The United States Naval Academy opened in Annapolis, Maryland. The student population was  50 midshipmen students and seven professors for a very good teaching ratio of 7:1 It was known as the Naval School until 1850, the curriculum included mathematics and navigation, gunnery and steam, chemistry, English, natural philosophy, and French as well as Women’s Studies, Multicultural Diversity in Arthropods and The Movies of Whit Bissel. The Naval School officially became the U.S. Naval Academy in 1850, and a new curriculum went into effect, requiring midshipmen to study at the academy for four years and to train aboard ships each summer--the basic format that remains at the academy to this day.

            1846-Saturday- I really can't stay
(But baby, it's cold outside)
I've got to go away
But baby, it's cold outside)
This evening has been
(Been hoping that you'd drop in)
So very nice
(I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice)……..
Louis Armstrong……Neptune's moon, Triton, was discovered by William Lassell while he was observing the newly discovered planet Neptune . Lassell was attempting to confirm his previous observation, that Neptune had a ring. Instead he discovered that Neptune had a satellite, which he named Triton.  Triton was a Greek god, the messenger of the deep. He was the son of Posiedon (Neptune in Roman “god dom”) god of the sea. He was usually represented as a merman (Ethel Merman?) having the upper body of a human and the tail of a fish or dolphin. We now know that Triton is colder than any other measured object in the Solar System with a surface temperature of -235° C (-391° F).

1865 – Tuesday- Thus so wretched is man that he would weary even without any cause for weariness... and so frivolous is he that, though full of a thousand reasons for weariness, the least thing, such as playing billiards or hitting a ball, is sufficient enough to amuse him…..Blaise Pascal……… The composition billiard ball was patented by John Wesley Hyatt of Starkey, New York.  The New York Times reported a few years later that "one day a bottle of collodion overturned, and it was after watching the solidification of the collodion that he got the idea of making celluloid." He filed for a patent in 1865, describing it as a "horn-like material" which would later be called "celluloid." Hyatt’s invention played a role in saving elephants from extinction.  They had been hunted for their ivory tusks, which were then made into billiard balls (and cue sticks).  Phelan and Callendar, a major manufacturer of billiard tables in New York City, offered a $10,000 prize for the creation of a composition ball to replace ivory. Actually, it was kind of good news/bad news.  Good news for Jumbo but Hyatt ,in his Albany lab had mixed camphor with nitrocellulose under extreme pressure. He was awarded a $10,000 purse in 1869 for creating the new round billiard item.  But………………..remember the first five letters of nitrocellulose are nitro. The resultant plastic substance ball was flammable in play…”7 ball in the corner pocket”…kapow!...... and even exploded occasionally during manufacture

1881 – Monday It costs me never a stab nor squirm / To tread by chance upon a worm. / Aha, my little dear, / I say, Your clan will pay me back one day……Dorothy Parker……Charles Darwin published The Formation of Vegetable Mold Through the Action of Worms. He considered the work a more important accomplishment than his The Origin of Species (1859), which turned out to be one of the most influential and controversial books in history. And frankly, we consider The Formation of Vegetable Mold Through the Action of Worms to be more important than Origin of the Species too.  The title alone is a grabber and inside, the imagery, the use of metaphor, the powerful existentialism, and the surprise ending................... Darwin Online notes that The book was remarkably successful, selling 6,000 copies within a year, and 13,000 before the end of the century. To begin with it sold far faster than The Origin Of Species had.

            1892-Monday  I am stuck on Band-Aid brand 'cause Band-Aid's stuck on me!
I am stuck on Band-Aid brand 'cause germs don't stick on me!
Cause they hold on tight no matter what on fingers, toes, and knees.
I am stuck on Band-Aid brand 'cause Band-Aid helps heal me!
...Barry Manilow……..Happy Birthday, Earle Dickson, born in Highland Park, New Jersey and inventor of Band-aids in 1920..  Dickson’s wife, a clutz, was prone to kitchen accidents - cuts or burns - (aren't we all?). One day, as usual,  Dickson, a cotton buyer for Johnson & Johnson,  was dressing her small wounds with cotton gauze and adhesive tape. After a number of these accidents, he devised a way she could easily apply her own dressings (he probably got tired of “doctoring” this bunglesome babe). He prepared ready-made bandages by placing squares of cotton gauze at intervals along an adhesive strip and covering them with crinoline. Now all his wife had to do was cut off a length of the strip and wrap it over her cut. Since he was employed was as a cotton buyer at Johnson & Johnson, his suggestion to make this a product became ---drum roll please--- the precursor to Band-aids. Some band aidical factorinos - The red string that is used to open the wrappers first appears on the box in 1924. Decorative Band-Aids were not introduced until 1956. Barry Manilow (Mandy) composed the famous Band-Aid jingle (“I am stuck on Band-Aid brand, ‘cause Band-Aid’s stick on me!”).

            1913-Friday- Isthmus be the place……Buckwheat…….  Woodrow Wilson dedicated the Panama Canal and, also, the  Shirelles dedicated it   ..................to  the one I love.  The Canal opened a year later in 1914.  In 1899 the US Congress had created an Isthmian Canal Commission to examine the possibilities of a Central American canal and to recommend a route. The commission first decided on a route through Nicaragua, but later reversed its decision because the price for beach front condos was outrageous. The United States and the new state of Panama (formerly part of Colombia thanks to a U.S instigated and supported revolution….) signed the Hay-Bunau-Varilla treaty, by which the United States guaranteed the independence of Panama and secured a perpetual lease on a 10-mile strip for the canal. Panama was to be compensated by an initial payment of $10 million and an annuity of $250,000, plus gift certificates for the Home Shopping Network beginning in 1913. This strip is now known as the Canal Zone. It takes approximately fifteen hours to traverse the canal through its three sets of locks (about half the time is spent waiting due to traffic). Ships passing through the canal from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean actually move from the northwest to the southeast, due to the east-west orientation of the Isthmus of Panama.  In 1977, addled U.S. President Jimmy Carter signed a treaty which agreed to return 60% of the Canal Zone to Panama in 1979. The canal and remaining territory, known as the Canal Area, was returned to Panama at noon (local Panama time) on December 31, 1999.

            1930 – Friday-  Q: What's the most important thing to learn in chemistry? A: Never lick the spoon…… Bon Anniversaire/Happy Birthday Yves Chauvin, French chemist born in Meni. Chauvin was corecipient, with Robert H. Grubbs and Richard R. Schrock, of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2005 for developing metathesis, an important chemical reaction used in organic chemistry.  Metathesis is a chemical reaction between two compounds in which parts of each are interchanged to form two new compounds (AB+CD=AD+CB).  Of course in English, metathesis is a linguistic process of transposition of sounds or syllables within a word or words within a sentence.  Remember: Organic chemistry is the study of carbon compounds; biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that wriggle.

1933-Tuesday- We came all this way to explore the Moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth ……Happy Birthday, astronaut William Anders, born in Hong Kong. Anders was a member of the crew, with Frank Borman and Jim Lovell, of Apollo 8 – the first space craft to orbit the moon. Anders was also a member of the backup crew for Gemini 11 and, trivia buffs, Apollo 11.  Ironically, he replaced future Apollo 11 crewman, Michael Collins as a crew member of Apollo 8 after Collins became ill. Anders would later serve as ambassador to Norway…really….he did.

            1933- Tuesday  And this was his vinyl answer….Waldo L. Semon received a patent  for a method of making plasticized PVC, now known simply as vinyl. When he was inducted into the Inventor’s Hall of Fame in 1995, Semon said “'People then thought of PVC as worthless back then,' Semon recalled. 'They'd throw it in the trash.' Semon, a researcher at The BFGoodrich Company in Akron, Ohio, was attempting to find an adhesive that would bond rubber to metal. He began experimenting with the discarded material by combining it with other chemicals and exposing it to heat. The result was plasticized polyvinyl chloride - which we now call PVC or vinyl - a flexible "gel" that had striking similarities to natural rubber. But decades later PVC has become the world's second-best-selling plastic, generating billions of dollars in sales each year.

 1935 – Thursday- Promoting Porgy to opera involves considerable incidental drudgery for theatregoers who agree with Mark Twain that "classical music is better than it sounds" But Mr Gershwin has found a personal voice that was inarticulate in the original play. The fear and the pain go deeper in Porgy and Bess than they did in penny plain Porgy ……..Brooks Atkinson…….George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (lyrics by Dubose Hayward), based on the novel, Porgy,  opened at the Alvin Theater on Broadway… It ran for 124 performances until Janury 25, 1936.  The cast featured, Anne Wiggins Brown as Bess, Todd Duncan, as Porgy, and John W. Bubbles as Sportin' Life.  A classic American opera, it featured Summertime, Bess You Is My Woman Now, I Love’s You Porgy, It Ain’t Necessarily So, and I Got Plenty O Nuttin.  We are awaiting the all white version. featuring; Bess, You Are My Woman Now, It Isn’t Necessarily So, and I Have Plenty of Vacuum.

1938 –Monday- I believe it is peace for our time . . . peace with honour.....Neville Chameberlain…. Proving once again that appeasement works for the appeased, not the appeeaser….The Munich Agreement basically destroyed Czechoslovakia as Germany, France, Britain, and Italy ceded the Sudetenland to Nazi Germany.  Adolf Hitler's threats to occupy the German-populated part of Czechoslovakia stemmed from his avowed broader goal of reuniting Europe's German-populated areas. Though Czechoslovakia had defense treaties with France and the Soviet Union, both countries agreed that areas in the Sudetenland with majority German populations should be returned.  Neville Chamberlain negotiated an agreement permitting Germany to occupy the areas but promising that all future differences would be resolved through, and this is hilarious………. consultation. The agreement, which became synonymous with appeasement, was abrogated when…..surprise…… Hitler annexed the rest of Czechoslovakia the next year.


1960 –Monday- >(That famous day in history the men of the 7th Cavalry went riding on)
(And from the rear a voice was heard)
(A brave young man with a trembling word rang loud and clear)
What am I doin' here??
Please Mr. Custer, I don't wanna go
Hey, Mr. Custer, please don't make me go
I had a dream last night about the comin' fight
Somebody yelled "attack!"
And there I stood with a arrow in my back.
I wonder what the injun word for friend is
Let's see--friend-- kemo sabe, that's it
KEMO SABE!, HEY OUT THERE, KEMO SABE! Nope, that itn't it
Look at them durned injuns
Theyre runnin' around like a bunch of wild Indians-heh, heh, heh
Nah, this ain't no time for jokin'

Now out of favor with the 21st century Thought Police,  Larry Verne’s Mr. Custer reached number 1 on the Billboard Charts. Songfacts  tells us that Mr Custer, which was written by Al DeLong, Fred Darian and Joseph Van Winkle and Larry Verne worked in a photographer's studio down the hall from their office, and after hearing his Southern drawl there was only one person who could record the song.According to Steve Otfinoski in The Golden Age Of Novelty Songs, the demo was turned down repeatedly, possibly because originally it ran to four and a half minutes. A shorter version was taken up by Era Records, and backed by Okeefenokee Two Step, it became the biggest selling novelty record of the year. Mr. Custer replaced Connie Francis’ mult-dubbed, My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own.  Synchonistically, Custer would in turn be scalped by the Drifters’ Save the Last Dance for Me.

            1962 –Wednesday-  I was working in the lab late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
When my monster from his slab began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise
He did the mash
He did the monster mash
The monster mash
It was a graveyard smash
……..Big day for novelty songs (see Mr. Custer 1960) as the BBC banned the song Monster Mash by Bobby "Boris" Pickett claiming it may be deemed grotesque or otherwise tasteless to some listeners. Speaking of tasteless and grotesque, Britain would later send us Freddy and the Dreamers, Herman’s Hermits, Petula Clark, and Gerry & The Pacemakers

            1970 –Saturday- I remember the time I was kidnapped and they sent a piece of my finger to my father. He said he wanted more proof……Rodney Dangerfield….. Pierre Laporte, the labor minister of Quebec, was kidnapped by the Quebec Liberation Front (FLQ) prompting what would be called the October Crisis in Canada. Laporte was a member of the Quebec Provincial Liberal Party. He was provincial minister of immigration, manpower and of labor. He  was kidnapped from his home, by masked men. Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act on October 16, 1970. Laporte was killed by the Chénier cell of the FLQ, and his strangled body found in the trunk of a car on October 18. His kidnappers were subsequently captured and sentenced for his murder

1971 – Sunday- How come every time you come around
My London London Bridge wanna go down like
London London London, wanna go down like
London London London, we goin? down like
How come every time you come around
My London London Bridge wanna go down like
London London London, wanna go down like
London London London, we goin? down like
………Fergie…………The Old London Bridge of nursery-rhyme fame was built by Peter of Colechurch between 1176 and 1209, replacing an earlier timber bridge. Because of uneven construction the bridge required frequent repair. The bridge did manage to survive for more than 600 years.  By 1924, the east side of the bridge was some three to four inches (102 mm) lower than the west side; it soon became apparent that this bridge would have to be removed and replaced with a more modern one.  In 1967, the Common Council of the City of London placed the bridge on the market and began to look for potential buyers. Remember, this was before Craig’s List. On 18 April 1968, what is called  Rennie's bridge was sold to the American entrepreneur Robert P. McCulloch of McCulloch Oil for $2,460,000.  It was dismantled and moved to the United States.  As the bridge was taken apart, each piece was numbered to aid re-assembly. London Bridge reopened in Lake Havasu City, Arizona and re-dedicated on October  10, 1971. Rennie's London Bridge spans the the ,mighty waters of the Bridgewater Channel canal that leads from Lake Havasu to Thomson Bay. It  has become Arizona's second-biggest tourist attraction, after the Grand Canyon but ahead of the official state amphibian, the Arizona tree frog.

            1973 Wednesday-  I apologize for lying to you. I promise I won't deceive you except in matters of this sort….Vice President of the United States Spiro Agnew resigned after being charged with federal income tax evasion. Agnew popularized nolo contendre in the lexicon meaning no contest-to one charge of income tax evasion in a federal court in Baltimore. This plea was tantamount to an admission of guilt and by making it he avoided being charged with bribery, fraud, and conspiracy. The Justice Department dropped all pending charges, and Agnew was fined $10,000 and placed on three years' probation. On October 12 President Richard Nixon nominated slap stick House minority leader Gerald R. Ford of Michigan to be the new Vice-President. ….. I didn't say I wouldn't go into ghetto areas. I've been in many of them and to some extent I would say this; if you've seen one city slum, you've seen them all….Spiro T. Agnew

 1986-Friday- Me and my shadow
Strolling down the avenue
Me and my shadow
Not a soul to tell our troubles to…
…. Dave Dreyer ……A tiny Asteroid- 3753, was found to be orbiting the Earth by J. D. Waldron at Siding Spring Observatory. It was called Cruithne (pronounced "Croo-een-ya") after Celtic tribes circa 880 and 500 BC and it is pulled alternately by the Sun and Earth. It actually passes closer to the Earth than the Moon. At its closest approach it gets to within about 15 million km (9 million miles) of our planet. Cruithne’s diameter ranges between 2.9 - 6.4 km diameter wide. Cruithne will remain in a suspended state around Earth for at least 5,000 years.  This will make it the possible of subject of “asteroid destroys Earth” theories whenever other asteroids aren’t hanging around. 3753 was responsible for the delivery of astronomical picornavirus which in susceptible humans causes the dreaded Prostate Posse Syndrome on golf courses. Easily identified symptoms include frequent visits by groups of elderly men into the woods for micturation purposes.

            1987 –Saturday-  Rowboat
Row me to the shore
She don't want to be my friend no more
She dug a hole in the bottom of my soul
She don't want to be my friend no more
…..Johnny Cash……….Tom McClean finished rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. He set the record at 54 days and 18 hours.  Seeking to avoid rising air fares and long lines at passport control, 20ft dory (a dory is a small boat of shallow draft with cross thwarts for seats and rowlocks for oars with which it is propelled)  Skol 1080. McClean merrily merrily merrily merrily rowed  his way from Canada to the Bishop's Rock Lighthouse. Enroute, he survived his rowing boat turning upside down in the middle of the night in 50ft waves emptying essential equipment into the ocean.

1996- Thursday- When you do dance, I wish you a wave o' the sea, that you might ever do nothing but that….Florizel….. The Winter's Tale (IV, iv, 159-161) …..A sacred day for fin de siecle and commence de siecle (but maybe it’s with us forever) weddings as Macarena [Bayside Boys Mix] Los Del Rio was still number 1 on the Billboard Charts. In the US, this was the biggest dance craze of the 1990's. It was played at weddings, office parties, cruise ships, and just about anywhere there was dancing. Like the earlier dance craze, the Electrc Slide, it was easy to learn and was done in a group, making it perfect for the constitutionally uncoordingated who lacked rhythm. All the ills of mankind, all the tragic misfortunes that fill the history books, all the political blunders, all the failures of the great leaders have arisen merely from a lack of skill at dancing…..Moliere…….It was originally released  in Spain in 1993, where it did fairly well. In America, it was a minor hit until the summer of 1996, when the Macarena dance craze hit America. The song went to #1 on August 3 and lingered, driving some to the verge of insanity until November 9.  The Macarena replaced forgettable You’re Making Me High by Tony Braxton.  It would finally be toppled from the top spot by the classic, No Diggity by Backstreet feat.

2008Friday- Migulgl zol er vern in a henglayhter, by tog zol er hengen, un bay nakht zol er brenen.. (Yiddish - He should be transformed into a chandelier, to hang by day and to burn by night.)…… The Orakzai bombing killed 110 and injured 200 more. Surprise surprise, Taliban a suicide bombers drove and detonated a pick-up truck packed with 300 kg of explosives into a meeting of 600 people, killing 40 instantly and injuring 81, although the toll later rose to 110 as many died in hospitals. The attack, in the Orakzai Agency of Pakistan, the land of enchantment, was the result of a dispute between local tribal members and the Taliban.

2009 –Saturday- If you're ever in a jam, here I am.
If you're ever in a mess, S.O.S.
If you're so happy, you land in jail. I'm your bail.
It's friendship, friendship, just a perfect blendship.
When other friendships are soon forgot, ours will still be hot.
Da da da da da da dig dig dig.
…..Judy Garland……After having closed borders for about two hundred years, Armenia and Turkey signed protocols in Zurich, Switzerland to open their borders.  The accord was  met by protests in Armenia, where many people said it did  not fully address the 1915 genocide  of hundreds of thousands of Armenians when they were deported en masse from eastern Anatolia by the Ottoman Empire. They were killed by troops or died from starvation and disease.

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1521-Tuesday            First you say you do
And then you don't
And then you say you will
And then you won't
You're undecided now
So what are you gonna do?
……Ella Fitzgerald…..Pope Leo X (a Medici)  conferred the title of 'Defender of the Faith' (Fidei Defensor) on England's Henry VIII for his book supporting Catholic principles.  Well that certainly worked out well. Fast forward to 1531 and Henry besotted with Anne Boleyn and wanting a divorce from Catherine of Aragon.  The Pope, now Clement VII, issued a brief that ordered Henry to separate from Anne. He also informed Henry that he was not free to re-marry and that if he did so without the permission of Rome then any children of the liaison would be considered illegitimate. One month later, the earstwhile Defender of the Faith stood up in parliament and demanded that all members of the Church in England recognise him as Supreme Head and Sole Protector of the Church in England. An Act was passed confirming the King's status as Supreme Head of the Church of England. The King's new title was proclaimed to the people.

1531 – Sunday You say either and I say either,
You say neither and I say neither
Either, either neither, neither
Let's call the whole thing off.
….Louis Armstrong……..Speaking of the Protestant Reformation (see Henry VIII above) Huldrych  (Ulrich) Zwingli the leader of the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland and founder of Swiss Reformed churches and an ex-Catholic priest, was rendered kaput during the Battle of Kappel with the Roman Catholic cantons of Switzerland. In 1522, Zwingli proclaimed the Bible, not Catholic hierarchy and tradition, to be the sole source of Christian authority, and he persuaded civic leaders and the churches of Zurich that things not prescribed in the Bible had no place in the church's life.

1582 – Monday  Monday Monday, can't trust that day,
Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be
Mamas and Papas…..Because of the implementation of the Gregorian calendar (courtesy of Pope Gregory XIII) which replaced the Julian Calendar and resulted in a jump from this day does not exist in this year in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain. The Gregorian calendar year differs from the solar year by only 26 seconds—accurate enough for most of us mortals, since this only adds up to one day's difference every 3,323 years.

 1776 –Friday-  without a Respectable Navy, Alas America! ….John Paul Jones……The Battle of Valcour Island – Lake Champlain.  Fifteen American gunboats (the Colonial Navy) were almost wiped out by a vastly superior British force of thirty vessels.  However, the battle took two days and significantly delayed British preparations, by a year, for attacking New York State.  Their goal was to destroy the rebel fleet on Lake Champlain, take the vital American forts at Ticonderoga and Mt. Independence, and drive a wedge between the eastern and western parts of the Colony. And, the Lake Champlain Region offers exciting adventures for the young and the young at heart. Opportunities range from famous military forts and museums, and arts and cultural venues to a plethora of summer and winter outdoor recreational activities. Several days behind this naval force was an invading army, some 7,000 troops in almost 400 bateaux and an army of tourists anxious to take advantage of off season rates. The American commander?....... Benedict Arnold, who’s name became a synonym for treason when he attempted to give the British the plans to West Point in 1780.        

            1793 –Friday-Fever
In the morning
Fever all through the night
Everybodies got the fever
That is somethin you all know
Fever is'nt such a new thing
Fever start long ago
…..Peggy Lee…….Yellow Fever – tropics – Walter Reed - Panama Canal?  Actually it was a major problem in the early United States. In fact, the death toll from a yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia hit 100 on this day. By the time it ended, 5,000 people were dead. Yellow fever is a viral disease that begins with fever and muscle pain. Next, victims often become jaundiced (hence, the term "yellow" fever), as their liver and kidneys cease to function normally. Some of the afflicted then suffer even worse symptoms. Famous early colonist Cotton Mather painted the rather attractive verbal picture of "turning yellow then vomiting and bleeding every way." The virus is carried and transferred by mosquitoes but this was not to be “discovered” for another 100 years. The first yellow fever outbreaks in the United States occurred in late 1690s. In 1793, refugees from a yellow fever epidemic in the Caribbean fled to Philadelphia. Within weeks, people throughout the city were experiencing symptoms. By the middle of October, 100 people were dying from the virus every day.

            1809 –Wednesday-  I am not a coward, but I am so strong. So hard to die. …..Meriwether Lewis…….Just three years after the completion of his most famous feat came the  mysterious kapution of the famous explorer Meriwether Lewis in the early hours of the morning after spending  the night at Grinder's Tavern along the Natchez Trace in Tennessee.  Since completing his epic journey  to the Pacific with William Clark Lewis’ life had been one failure after another. Most historians think it was a suicide – he shot himself and when that didn’t work, he stabbed himself.  A vocal minority think it was murder – either by the innkeeper or bandits.  He was 35 years old.


 1811-Friday-  I have never been aboard a steamer
I am just content to be a dreamer
Even if I could afford a steamer
I will take the ferry boat every time……
Andrews Sisters…… The world’s first steam ferryboat, the Juliana, (named after Col. John Stevens’ daughter), began running between New York and New Jersey (Hoboken, which was Stevens’ home).   Stevens hoped to make Hoboken a weekened resort for New Yorkers. http://www.stevens.edu/sit/about/steamboats.cfm.....Stevens had followed close on Robert Fulton’s steamship, Clermont. Stevens’ engines were built in America, while those of the Clermont had been imported from England

1844- Friday C'mon, take a bottle, shake it up
Break the bubble, break it up
Pour some sugar on me
Ooh, in the name of love
Pour some sugar on me
C'mon fire me up
Pour your sugar on me
Oh, I can't get enough…
………………Def Leppard……..Happy Birthday, Henry J. Heinz, businessman, born in Pittsburgh, Pa.,  who founded H.J. Heinz Co. and invented the "57 varieties" slogan. “Many boys play sports or build things (wreck things too) but little Henry became particularly adept at grinding horseradish, and his later fortune rose and fell with this powerful herb” .  Henry maintained his childhood fascination with horseradish and pickles as an adult and went into the vegetable business. Along the way he fell in love with tomatoes too.  Heinz soon became the world's largest tomato processor, even going so far as calling itself "tomato-obsessed." The company eventually provided more than one half the ketchup in the world. After adding veggie upon veggie, when Henry Heinz created ' 57 Varieties' in 1896, the company already had over 60 varieties of products.

1871-Wednesday-    An archaeologist was digging in the Negev Desert in Israel and came upon a casket containing a mummy.  After examining it, he called the curator of a prestigious natural history museum.
 "I've just discovered a 3,000 year old mummy of a man who died of heart failure!" the excited scientist exclaimed.
 To which the curator replied, "Bring him in. We'll check it out."
  A week later, the amazed curator called the archaeologist. "You were right about the mummy's age and cause of death. How in the world did you know?"
  "Easy. There was a piece of paper in his hand that said,
10,000 Shekels on Goliath'
….Happy Birthday, Harriet Hawes American archaeologist and social activist born in Boston. Hawes gained fame for her discoveries of ancient remains (such as reruns of Gilligan’s Island, the Edsel advertising campaign, and  the secret burial ground of deleted Twitter postings) in Crete. She had gone to Crete (since Boston is filled with cretins) in 1900, with the encouragement of archaeologist Arthur Evans and began to excavate a Minoan site at Kavousi where she discovered some Iron Age Tombs- where she found Strom Thurmond. The first woman to direct an excavation, she was also the first archaeologist to discover an Early Bronze Age Minoan town site.


 1881-Tuesday- Big whorls have little whorls
Which feed on their velocity
And little whorls have lesser whorls,
And so on to viscosity
…………Happy Birthday,  Louis F. Richardson, British physicist and psychologist born in Newcastle on Tyne.  Richardson was the first to apply mathematics in weather predictions.  Of course before weather there was peat as he first developed his method of finite differences in order to solve differential equations which arose in his work for the National Peat Industries concerning the flow of water in peat. There were problems when he switched to weather and  he wasn’t terribly successful at first since it generally took him three months of mathematical calculating to predict the weather for the next 24 hours. With the advent of electronic computers after World War II, his method of weather prediction, somewhat altered and improved, became practical.

1881-Tuesday-  Kodachrome
They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day, Oh yeah
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don't take my Kodachrome away
…Paul Simon……….Same day as Richardson’s birth -- roll film (much more effective than bagel film) for cameras was patented by David H. Houston, a Scottish immigrant who found himself homesteading  in North Dakota (don’t we all?)  in 1879 on a 400-acre farm, 30 miles NE of Fargo. Yes, Scotland to North Dakota! In another of those capricious twists of fame, it was his business relationship with George Eastman (who was the one who became famous for cameras) that encouraged Houston to further improve photography equipment. Eastman, who was a high school dropout, had great vision. He bought 21 camera patents from Houston, including the invention that made them famous – a portable camera. Up until then, people had to rely on professional photographers. For this new hand-held camera, Eastman paid Houston $5000, as well as monthly royalties for the rest of his life, and portraits of notable North Dakota cows.

            1899-Wednesday-  Having been engaged rather a lot of times, Zsa Zsa Gabor was asked whether a lady should give back the ring. Her answer? "Of course dahlink, but first, you take out all the diamonds ….One of the  South African Boer War began between the British Empire and the Boers of the Transvaal and Orange Free State. Many think the war was fought by obnoxious people but that was the Boor War.  Others think it was fought between rival pig gangs.  That was the Boar War.  A third school thinks it was rather dull and was the Bore War. This one was between the British and the descendents of the original Dutch settlers, the Boers.  The cause?  Diamonds were discovered in Boer territory.  There were actually two  Boer wars The first was in 1880 and the second was between 1899-1902. The wars were between the British and the descendants of the Dutch settlers in Africa. The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Verrniging in May 1902 and the British eventually handed the Boers self governance in 1907.

            1899-Wednesday- A hot dog at the game beats roast beef at the Ritz. …..Humphrey Bogart…….. The same day as the outbreak of the Boer War, in U.S baseball, the Western League renamed itself the American League and placed teams in Cleveland and Chicago. This was done with the approval of the National League, then the only major league, which, at the time, did not recognize the move as a threat. The American League remained a minor league during the 1900 season, however, the  league did not renew its National Agreement membership when it expired in October 1900, and on January 28, 1901, the American League officially declared itself a major league…..guess which major league they would raid to get their major league players? Eventually more than 100 players, dissatisfied with the low salaries and dictatorial policies of 1890s National League management, jumped at the chance to change leagues. Among the biggest names were John McGraw, Cy Young, Clark Griffith, Hugh Duffy, and Jimmy Collins.  This declaration was followed by an epidemic of franchise relocations. So, in the 1901 baseball season, for the first time in a decade, there were two major leagues. The American League opened for business in Milwaukee, Cleveland, Washington, Baltimore, (later to move to New York and become the Highlanders and ultimately, the Yankees)  Detroit, Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago, with the latter three franchises competing with established National League teams in the same city. http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/American_League

            1932-Tuesday- The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it…..P.J. O'Rourke ……..The first American political telecast took place as the Democratic National Committee, under chairman, James Farley, sponsored a program from a CBS television studio in New York.  This was of course one month before the Presidential Election of 1932 in which Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Republican Herbert Hoover (considering Hoover’s lack of popularity due to the Depression, the Democrats could have nominated comedian Buster Keaton and still won). Not sure how many minds were changed by the broadcast since in 1932 there were about like two televisions in the entire country.  Farley would become FDR’s Postmaster General.

            1958 – Saturday- I didn't fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong…..Benjamin Franklin……. A year and a week after the launch of Sputnik , NASA ( up until the Pioneer  failure in August of this year  the Army, Navy, and Air Force each launched their own satellites) which took over the space program in September, launched Pioneer I for orbit around the Moon.  Unfortunately, the second stage was shut down too early, leaving Pioneer 1 with a lack of speed to fulfill its mission. Pioneer 1 flew up to a height of 113854 km, less than a third of the distance of the Moon and fell back, disintegrating in the atmosphere after a 43 hours, 17 seconds flight. The mission was a failure, but fallout led to the mutation of a virus that causes people to fail to use their turn signals while driving a car.

            1968-Friday- When a prime-time broadcast was scheduled for shortly before the crew was to execute a tricky rendezvous, he scrubbed the TV show. "No TV until after the rendezvous," he pronounced. The ground objected but Schirra held firm. "TV will be delayed without any further discussion."…….Launch of Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission.   Astronauts Walter Schirra, Donn Eisele and Walter Cunningham—163 orbits in 260 hours. Apollo 11, the moon landing would come in July 1969.  An interesting footnote is that this flight included the first disease in space.  About 15 hours into the flight, Schirra developed a bad cold, and Cunningham and Eisele soon fell victim also. A cold is miserable enough here on earth but in the weightlessness of space mucus accumulates, filling the nasal passages, and does not drain from the head. The only relief is to blow hard, which is painful to the ear drums – and also brings Newton’s 3rd Law of Action and Reaction to a, shall we say head. Several days before the mission ended, they began to worry about wearing their suit helmets during reentry, which would prevent them from blowing their noses. The buildup of pressure might burst their eardrums. Schirra told his crew that they would make reentry without their helmets on. Donald Slayton, in mission control, tried to persuade them to wear the helmets but Schirra was adamant and felt he was ultimately responsible as commander on the flight. They each took a decongestant pill about an hour before re-entry and made it through the acceleration zone without any problems with their ears.  The failure to obey orders to wear their helmets during re-entry was a costly one though. Schirra had announced his retirement before the flight and didn't care what anyone thought. Eisele and Cunningham were making their first flight and felt they had to follow their commander but, because of their actions, neither one would ever fly in space again…and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

      1975-  Teacher: Repeat after me. I would like...Student: "I would like..."Teacher: ...to feed your fingertips...Student: "... to feed your fingertips..."Teacher: ...to the wolverines.Student: "... to the wolverines." ……Opening lines, first sketch…..Live, from New York, it’s Saturday Night …. From the ashes of Howard Cosell’s Saturday night show came…NBC Saturday Night (later Saturday Night Live) made its debut from NBC’s Studio 8H in New York City’s Rockefeller Center with guest host George Carlin.  There were twenty four episodes that first year.  The “Not Ready for Prime Time Players” were: Dan Aykroyd John Belushi Chevy Chase, George Coe (who left after October 25) Jane Curtin Garrett Morris, Laraine Newman,  Michael O'Donoghue (National Lampoon writer who also left after October 25) and Gilda Radner. Musical guests for the first show were Billy Preston and Janis Ian.

1982 - Monday     They know so much about the ship and every object on there - but nothing about the people on board…….Nick Owen …………..Speaking of Henry VIII – see 1521 above…..The Mary Rose, which had been the pride of  Ocho Henry’s English fleet until it sank in the Solent in 1545, was raised from the bottom of the Solent.  The Mary Rose was built between 1509 and 1511 and served in Henry VIII’s navy for 34 years until she sank off the south coast of England on July 19th, 1545. The French claim one of their cannons sent her to the bottom, but other evidence indicates she may simply have been overloaded or mishandled.  An estimated 60 million television viewers worldwide put aside daytime talkshows, soap operas and infomercials and watched her come to the surface in the first ever live broadcast from underwater. The initial lifting was carried out over a period of eight hours to avoid any suction effect. When the process of gently detaching the hull from the silt was complete, a giant floating crane carefully transferred it underwater into a purpose-built cradle (below) positioned on the seabed nearby. Once secured to the cradle the whole package, weighing 580 tons, was raised and towed ashore. As soon as it broke the surface, the water inside the hull was pumped out. It was then placed on a barge and towed ashore.  This was then taken to the safe haven of the Royal Naval Base, Portsmouth.

1983- Tuesday- Telephone, n.  An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance……Ambrose Bierce……  In the  dawn of the personal computer age – 110 years after Alexander Graham Bell- the last hand-cranked telephones in the United States went out of service as 440 telephone customers in Bryant Pond, Maine, were switched to direct-dial service. Prior to that time a resident's number could be as short as two digits.  Scores of reporters and telephone buffs from around the country were on hand as Oxford County Telephone, located in Elden Hathaway’s living room made the switch.  http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=miMSAAAAIBAJ&sjid=6e4DAAAAIBAJ&pg=5495,6079556&dq=history+of+hand+cranked+telephone&hl=en

 1984- Thursday-  It's one of the great delights and memories for me . . . I felt like I was seeing, woven together, the power and scale of the entire world ……..Space shuttle Challenger astronaut (and oceanographer) Kathryn Sullivan became the first American woman to walk in space, aka Extravehicular Activity (EVA).  Sullivan and David Leemsma were to demonstrate the feasibility of actual satellite refueling during their 3.5 hour “walk”.  Note, first American woman in space, Sally Ride was also a member of the crew. Sullivan participated in two other space flights, the 1990 Discovery flight that deployed the Hubble Space Telescope, and the 1992 Atlantis flight that deployed the Space Lab. Unfortuately, a negative consequence of this EVA involved interstellar charmed quarks, which mutated in the Floria enviroments after the return to Earth.  The airborne mutations would result in the multiplication of the number of people suffering from Delusiona Celluloidesia,  which involves talking back to the screen and/or giving their own color commentary while watching a movie in a movie theater.

            1994-Tuesday- Queen Yllana: I'm going to allow myself the exquisite pleasure of watching you while I obliterate the Earth. ….Queen of Outer Space……The space probe Magellan ended its mission to explore Venus when flight controllers lowered its orbit into Venus' dense atmosphere and it plunged toward the surface – thus committing “probe icide”. Radio contact was lost the next day …..after a long scream followed by a series of “Wahoooooooooooooo”s.  Magellan was launched on May 4, 1989 from  the cargo bay of the  Space Shuttle Atlantis. The primary objectives of the Magellan mission were to map the surface of Venus with a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and to determine the topographic relief of the planet. Magellan arrived at its planned polar orbit around Venus on 1 Aug 10, 1990 where it discovered a civilization of Amazon women earlier documented the 1958 movie Queen of Outer Space.

             1995 –Wednesday-  It is disconcerting to reflect on the number of students we have flunked in chemistry for not knowing what we later found to be untrue…….Robert L. Weber…………Americans Mario Molina and Sherwood Rowland, and Dutch scientist Paul Crutzen won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work warning that CFCs are eating away Earth's ozone layer. Man-made chlorofluorocarbons had been invented by the odious Thomas Midgely (he also invented lead based gasoline) in 1928.

            2007 –Thursday-  Do you ever wonder if--well, if there are people living on the third planet?''The third planet is incapable of supporting life,' stated the husband patiently. 'Our scientists have said there's far too much oxygen in their atmosphere.” ….Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles …..The Allen Array, the biggest and best tool ever developed to search for signs of extraterrestrial life came online thanks to the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) Institute. It's an array of radio dishes located in an arid valley near the town of Hat Creek, just north of Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California. The Allen Array, started gathering data with 42 radio dishes ( as well as 63 cups and saucers plus 2 salt and pepper shakers). There would eventually  be 350 dishes pointed to space, listening for the faint communications from an extraterrestrial intelligence.  It has already picked up communications from people who watch Hallmark Channel commercials, overweight people who wear undersized bathing suits, and people who talk on their cell phones at the check out counter.  

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539 BC – Thursday  I am Cyrus, king of the world, great king, mighty king, king of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four quarters, the son of Cambyses, great king, king of Anšan, grandson of Cyrus, great king, king of Anšan, descendant of Teispes, great king, king of Anšan, of an eternal line of kingship, whose rule Bêl and Nabu love, whose kingship they desire fot their hearts' pleasure. When I entered Babylon in a peaceful manner, I took up my lordly abode in the royal palace amidst rejoicing and happiness. Marduk, the great lord, established as his fate for me a magnanimous heart of one who loves Babylon, and I daily attended to his worship…….Cyrus Cylinder…..After caputing Massapequa, East Patchogue, and Central Islip, and a year after  the Battle of Opis,  the army of Cyrus the Great of Persia took  Babylon.  Cyrus the Great, was the founder of the Persian empire. When he became king, Persia was a client state of the empire of the Medes. Cyrus revolted, conquered the Median capital Ecbatana and deposed the king of the Medes, Astyages. Throughout his reign he conquered Babylon, Lydia, and the Greek cities of Asia Minor.  Babylon was the capital of a small city state of Mesopotamia, named Babylonia, located in what is now Iraq, near the modern town of Hilla and on the eastern bank of the Euphrates river. Babylon was founded at the end of the 3rd millennium BC, and lasted through the 2nd century AD.

633 – Saturday We are no longer the knights who say ni! We are now the knights who say ekki-ekki-ekki-pitang-zoom-boing!.....Monty Python ……At the Battle of Hatfield Chase, King Edwin of Northumbria was defeated and killed by the British under Penda of Mercia and Cadwallon of Gwynedd…..characters from either the Hobbit or Sword of Thrones. In his page turner,  Ecclesiastical History of the English People only a century after the death of Edwin, the historian, Venerable Bede refers to a “fierce battle fought on the plain called ‘Haethfelth’, and Edwin was killed on 12 October in the year of our Lord 633.”

1216 –Wednesday  Who wants to buy this diamond ring?
She took it off her finger, now it doesn't mean a thing
This diamond ring doesn't shine for me anymore
And this diamond ring doesn't mean what it did before
…..Gary Lewis & The Playboys…….King John of England lost his crown jewels in The Wash. His wife was constantly reminding him to empty his pockets before putting his clothes in the laundry.  King John travelled to Bishops Lynn in Norfolk where he arrived on October 9. Unfortunately, he fell ill immediately upon arrival and it was decided he would return to Newark Castle, which was deemed safer since he was at war with the Barons and the King of France again.  The story goes  that the King took the slower and safer route around the Wash, aptly named so because it was full of marshes and dangerous flats. However, most of his soldiers and several carts full of his personal possessions, including the crown jewels he had inherited from his grandmother, took the shorter route through the marshes. This route was usable only at low tide. The horse-drawn wagons moved too slowly for the incoming tide, and many were lost. The treasure carts were lost and never recovered.  More likely, it is also possible that the treasures were not lost.  John was always scheming and even back in 13th century, there was a suspicion that John had simply left his jewels back in Lynn as security for a loan and spread rumours of the “loss” to cover that up. Didn’t really matter since King John didn’t live for much longer for anything to uncover, he died just days later, on October 19.  The jewels remain lost.

1492-Wednesday- I like to be in America!
O.K. by me in America!
Ev'rything free in America
For a small fee in America!
…….Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein…..Christopher Columbus sailed to the New World on August 3 and landed today at Guanahani in the Caribbean just in time for the Columbus Day sales. A sailor aboard the Pinta sighted land. Columbus had reached what are now the Bahamas, an island group off the southeastern coast of the state of Florida. He  first set foot on an island called Guanahani by the people who lived there. Columbus called it  San Salvador and we’re not sure exactly where he landed although Samana Cay is a prime candidate.  Interestingly, Columbus’ original route was further north but upon spotting sea birds – and correctly assuming they came from a land source – he diverted south.  If he had continued on his previous course he would have landed in Florida. Columbus is now on the Thought Police “Bad List” and October 12 now involves diminishing his accomplishments and also engenders diatribes about genocide.

            1537 – Tuesday- Yes, King Edward VI lived only a few years, poor boy, but he lived them worthily…….Mark Twain……The Prince and the Pauper……. Happy Birthday, Edward VI, English king (the last Tudor king), Protestant, and son and successor to Henry VIII, born in Hampton Court Palace.  Edward died, probably of tuberculosis,  at age 16 in 1553 after “ruling” for six years and was succeeded by his step-sister Mary (Bloody Mary - Catholic) who was succeed by her step sister (and daughter of Anne Boleyn) Elizabeth I, Protestant.  When the bloated Henry VIII went kaput in 1547, the boy was young, not even 10 years old, when he ascended to the throne. His uncle, Edward Seymour (his mother Jane Seymour had gone kaput just after giving birth to young Edward) , became Lord Protector, and through Edward, sought to control England. Seymour's brother, Thomas, was made Lord Admiral and was an early influence on the life of the King's sister, the Princess Elizabeth. Protector Somerset was later overthrown by John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, who then took control as Edward's chief advisor.

1582 – Saturday, I love, I love my calendar girl
Yeah, sweet calendar girl
I love, I love, I love my calendar girl. Each and every day of the year
…….Neil Sedaka….  A reminder that …Because of the implementation of the Gregorian calendar this day does not exist in this year in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain. Pope Gregory XIII stated that 10 days in October were to be removed from the calendar. Specifically, he erased the 5th through 14th from the month which created a very bizarre October 1582. You can imagine what people's appointment schedule's looked like…... “but we were supposed to burn the heretics today….” Henceforth every four years divisible by four would continue to be a leap year, but years divisible by 100 would not, unless they are also divisible by 400 but the 10 days would be sacrificed. The position of the extra day in a leap year was moved from the day before February 25th to the day following February 28th

1654 – Monday When you hear a loud explosion followed by immediate loss of power...it's probably gonna be a long day. …Unknown………The Delft Explosion devastates the city in the Netherlands, killing more than 100 people.  According to the website, essentialVermeer, the explosion occurred when he gunpowder magazine, Delftse Donderslag went kablooey.   At half-past ten. Cornelis Soetens, the keeper of the magazine, opened the store to make his weekly check a sample of the powder. "Soetens was accompanied by a colleague from The Hague, wearing a red cloak, and by a servant. A lantern was lit, a door to the store was opened, and Soetens's companion handed his fine cloak to the servant so that it wouldn't get dirty and told him to take it home. The two men went in and down the dark stairs to collect their sample. Some minutes passed. It was still an ordinary Monday morning in Delft. Fiver huge successive explosions merged with one another. The earth shuddered and shuddered again. Flames rose and an intense heat fanned out in a searing wave."

1748 –Saturday Do Your Ears Hang Low?
Do They Wobble to and Fro?
Can You Tie Them in a Knot?
Can You Tie Them in a Bow?
Can You Throw Them Over Your Shoulder Like a Continental Soldier?
…..British and Spanish naval forces engage at the Battle of Havana during the War of Jenkins' Ear.  We note this item because we believe The War of Jenkin’s Ear (have you heard about it?) is too important to be forgotten unlike the War of Jenkin’s Nose and the War of Jenkin’s Dimple.  The incident that gave the name to the war occurred in 1731 when, according to one Robert Jenkins, master of the ship Rebecca, Spanish coast guards cut off his ear. There was tension between England and Spain but Jenkins's story in the House of Commons seven years later reinforced by the showing of his carefully preserved ear, had a tremendous propaganda effect and forced a reluctant Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole to declare war.  The larger context was The War of the Austrian Succession  1740-1748 and this battle between two squadrons was the final naval battle.

1773 –Tuesday They're coming to take me away, ha-haaa.
They're coming to take me away, ho ho, he he, ha ha,
To the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time
And I'll be happy to see those nice young
Men in their clean white coats and
They're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!
….Napoleon XIV……….America's first insane asylum opened  for 'Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds' in Virginia with the admission of the first patient, an obscure Hip Hop artist. Colonial Williamsburg site notes that  the building housed 24 cells, all designed for the security and isolation of their occupants. Each cell had a stout door with a barred window that looked on a dim central passage, a mattress, a chamber pot, and an iron ring in the wall to which the patient's wrist or leg fetters were attached. Neither harmless nor incurable people were admitted; the cells were reserved for dangerous individuals or for patients who might be treated and discharged.

1792 – Friday I love a parade,the tramping of feet,
I love every beat I hear of a drum.
I love a parade, when I hear a band
I just want to stand and cheer as they come.
That rat-a tat-tat, the blare of a horn.
That rat-a tat-tat, a bright uniform
….Music by Harold Arlen Lyrics by Ted Koehler…. First celebration of Columbus Day in the United States was  held in New York CIty.  This was the 300th anniversary of his arrival..somewhere….. It was organized by the Society of St. Tammany, or the Columbian Order, but more widely known as Tammany Hall.  Italian-Americans were key in the creation of Columbus Day. Beginning on October 12, 1866, New York City's Italian population organized a celebration of the 'discovery' of America. This yearly celebration spread to other cities and became known as Columbus Day in San Francisco in 1869.

1799 –Saturday Out of 10,000 feet of fall, always remember that the last half inch hurts the most. …Charles W. Purcell…….. Parisenne, Jeanne Geneviève Labrosse was the first woman to jump from a balloon with a parachute, a silk parachute,  from an altitude of 900 meters. She had been the first woman to fly solo in a balloon in 1798.  She had met and eventually fell in love with and married André-Jacques Garnerin, a hydrogen balloonist and inventor of the frameless parachute.

1810 –Friday- He was a wise man who invented beer…..-Plato…….. In a boost for future tourism, Bavarian Crown Prince Louis, later King Louis I of Bavaria, married Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The Bavarian royalty invited the citizens of Munich to attend the festivities, held on the fields in front of the city gates. The decision to repeat the festivities and the horse races in the subsequent year gave rise to the tradition of the annual Oktoberfest, which now begins in late September and lasts until the first Sunday in October. Alcohol consumption is an important part of the modern festival, and more than 1 million gallons of beer are consumed annually at Oktoberfest.  We also note it is a boost for the porta potty industry.

             1823-Sunday- When shall we three meet again?
 In thunder, lightning, or in rain?  …First Witch………MacBeth, Act 1 Scene 1…. Chemist Charles Macintosh of Scotland began selling raincoats. He had  patented a method for making waterproof garments by using rubber dissolved in coal-tar naphtha – a waste product of the Glasgow gasworks and also a volatile liquid hydrocarbon mixture - for cementing two pieces of cloth together.  In 1819 Macintosh began experimenting with the naphtha and discovered that it dissolved rubber. Applying the knowledge of textiles he had gained as a dye-maker, Macintosh had the idea of using the liquid rubber to waterproof fabrics. He painted one side of wool cloth with the rubber solution, then laid a second thickness of cloth over it. The rubber interior made the resulting sandwich of cloth waterproof.

          1860 –Friday- I had to stop driving my car for a while... the tires got dizzy. ….Steven Wright………Happy Birthday, Elmer Sperry, the “father of modern navigation technology"  (see our Who’s Your Daddy site - http://sciencegnus.com/Who's%20Your%20Daddy.html – born in Cinncinatus, New York.  Sperry was best known for perfecting the use of gyroscopes.  Sperry’s gyrocompass made piloting ships, airplanes, and even spacecraft more reliable. G. M. Hopkins had invented the first electrical gyroscope -- a disk mounted so that it remained in a fixed position despite the movements of its base in 1890. . Taking the technology to the next level, Sperry engineered a gyroscope that would replace the magnetic compass, a faulty and unreliable form of navigation used on ships since they kept getting stuck together. His gyrocompass was first installed on the U.S. dreadnought battleship Delaware in 1911. During World War I, the U.S. Navy adopted the gyrocompass for its activities. It proved so effective that it remained in use through World War II.


 1870 –Wednesday-  It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. …..General Robert Edward Lee, the commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, went kaput from pneumonia two weeks after suffering a stroke at his home in Lexington, Virginia.  The New York Times obituary: Intelligence was received last evening of the death at Lexington, Va., Of Gen. Robert E. Lee, the most famous of the officers whose celebrity was gained in the service of the Southern Confederacy during the late terrible rebellion. A report was received some days ago that he had been smitten with paralysis, but this was denied, and though it was admitted that he was seriously ill, hopes of his speedy recovery seem to have been entertained by his friends. Within the last two or three days his symptoms had taken an unfavorable turn, and he expired at 91/2 o'clock yesterday morning of congestion of the brain, at the age of sixty-three years, eight months and twenty-three days.


1915 –Tuesday-  I want my friends to know that I willingly give my life for my country. I have no fear nor shirking. I have seen death so often that it is not strange or fearful to me …. After a quick trial and sentence, British nurse Edith Cavell was executed by a German firing squad in Brussels for helping Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium during World War I. When reminded that her murder would rank with the burning of Louvain and the sinking of the Lusitania in stirring the civilized world with horror, Count Harrach, the civil governor's aide, remarked that his only regret was that they did not have "three or four more old English women to shoot." In 1907 Cavell had established a training school for nurses in Brussels in which hundreds of Belgian and German nurses were trained

            1918 –Saturday- A spark neglected makes a mighty fire….. Robert Herrick…. A recipe for a disaster near Duluth, Minnesota; mix the following  ingredients;  the timber industry used slash methods in the thick forests, leaving behind dry scraps that were perfect kindling for wildfires. They also (cleverly) tended to leave these scraps lying around the rail lines that carried wood from the lumber mills. Since train engines of the time often gave off sparks, fires were nearly inevitable. Add to that,  hot and dry months prior to October. Guess what?  Called the Cloquet-Moose Lake fire, 38 towns and villages were destroyed by the fire. Four hundred and fifty three deaths were reported and another 85 people were seriously burned. Four thousand houses, 6,000 barns and 40 schools all went up in flames.

            1920 –Tuesday-  Light at the end of the tunnel? We don't even have a tunnel; we don't even know where the tunnel is……Lyndon B. Johnson…. Construction of the Holland Tunnel began. The tunnel would provide a direct link between Twelfth Street in Jersey City, NJ and Canal Street in New York City.  It was opened to traffic on November 13, 1927.  The first "squeegee men" cleaning windshields appeared at the entrances later that day. Spanning 8,557 feet beneath the Hudson River, the Holland Tunnel became the longest tunnel in the world upon its completion. The Holland Tunnel was named for, yes,  Clifford Milburn Holland, the civil engineer who died while directing the tunnel's (and current day traffic nightmare) construction.

            1928 –Friday- Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe
And to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe
Yes to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe
 ….The Hollies……The artificial respirator, sometimes called an iron lung - an airtight metal tank that encloses all of the body except the head and forces the lungs to inhale and exhale through regulated changes in air pressure -was first demonstrated in a Boston hospital.  The iron lung was invented by Philip Drinker, an industrial hygienist from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1927. Its cylindrical chamber encasesd a person's entire body, save for the head, and used regulated air pressure to help a patient breathe when the muscle control necessary for normal breathing has been lost.  People could spend months, even years in them. The first patients of the iron lung were polio sufferers with chest paralysis. Later, John Emerson improved upon Philip Drinker’s invention and invented an iron lung that cost half as much to manufacture.

            1933-Thursday- First thing one Monday morning, a robber broke into the bank, and pointed his guns at the cashier said, Give me all your money, or you'll be GEOGRAPHY! The cashier laughed and said, You mean to say 'HISTORY.  The robber answered, Don't change the subject.  Depression era bank robber and popular culture/media hero, John Dillinger escaped from a jail in Allen County, Ohio, with the help of, Harry Pierpont, Charles Makley, and Russell Clark. These four would later form the core of the Dillinger gang. It was Pierpont  who killed the sheriff, Jess Sarber.  On Monday, Sept. 23, 1933,   Dillinger had been captured while visiting a girl friend in Dayton. He was carrying $2,604 when apprehended. Dillinger would be killed in an ambush (July 22, 1934) by D.O.I. special agents while leaving the Biograph Theatre after watching Clark Gable in Manhattan Melodrama. He was 31 years old. Pierpont and Makley, captured in Tuscon, Arizona, got the death penalty, while Clark got a life sentence. Makley was killed in a prison break, Pierpont wounded but survived to be executed in 1934.

1960 –Wednesday- The main difference for the history of the world if I had been shot rather than Kennedy is that Onassis probably wouldn't have married Mrs Khrushchev……….In one of the highlights of diplomatic history, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev (also see item below) disrupted a U.N. General Assembly session by pounding his desk with a shoe during a dispute.  Khrushchev then launched into a hearty rendition of  There’s No Business Like Shoe Business…Lorenzo Sumulong, the leader of the Phillipine delegation had  questioned Khrushchev about his stance on western imperialism when the Soviets had, themselves, swallowed all of Eastern Europe.  At that point, Khrushchev furiously banged his shoe on the podium, calling Sumulong “a jerk, a stooge, and a lackey of imperialism.” He also accused Sumulong of secretly watching Dancing With the Stars because he thought the “stars” were actually famous.

1963-Saturday There’s a crazy little shack beyond the tracks
And evrybody calls it the sugar shack
Well, its just a coffeehouse and its made out of wood
Expresso coffee tastes mighty good
Thats not the reason why Ive got to get back
To that sugar shack, whoa baby
To that sugar shack…
….immy Gilmer and the Fireballs' Sugar Shack landed at #1 on the Billboard Charts replacing Bobby Vinton’s treacly, Blue Velvet. This was post Doo Wop and pre Beatles so the next number 1 was Deep Purple by Nino Tempo and Apri Stevens.

            1964- ….. if the Mercury astronauts were ‘spam in a can’, then the Voskhod 1 cosmonauts were sardines……Ben Evans……….In its continuing efforts to remain ahead of the U.S in the space race, the USSR launched  Voskhod 1 with Col. Vladimir Komarov as pilot. It was the world's first multi-manned spacecraft, with three cosmonauts on board. In the rush to launch before the US Gemini flights, the crew were left at risk with no spacesuits, ejection seats, or escape tower. Other than that, everything was fine. The trio landed after 16 orbits of the earth, 24 hours and 17 min after they had left. Booster power for the launch was supplied by twenty female Soviet shotputters and the East German Women’s Swim Team…. Also of note; USSR Prime Minister Nikita S. Khrushchev, he of the shoe banging incident 3 years earlier – see above- was removed from power while the crew was in flight.  Voskhod  was really just a modified version of an earlier vessel, the Vostok, which was never meant to carry more than one cosmonaut. But in the race to beat the Americans, the Soviet government insisted this version go up. Crew members had to crane their heads at a 90 degree angle just to read their instruments, and the capsule had zero exit strategies if an emergency came up during re-entry.

            1973 –Friday- If Abraham Lincoln was alive today he would roll over in his grave …..Gerald R. Ford……President Richard Nixon nominated  House Minority Leader Gerald R. Ford, R-Mich., to succeed the disgraced crook Spiro T. Agnew (the man who put “nolo contendre” on the legal map) as vice president.  The announcement was delayed several days as it took a while to explain to the not particularly bright – he could have donated his brain to science as a neutrino collector- Minority Leader what a vice president is and what he does (although most of us still don’t know the answer to the latter). Ford would go on to become the country’s first slapstick president.

            1976-Tuesday- This little piggy went to market.
This little piggy stayed at home.
This little piggy had roast beef.
This little piggy had none.
And this little piggy went "cough, sneeze" and the whole world's media went mad over the imminent destruction of the human race, all the way home……..
After scaring the public with tails of epidemics, pandemics and “killer flu” and comparing it to the Spanish Flu of 1918, the U.S. swine flu vaccinations were halted in nine states after three elderly people in the Pittsburgh area suffered heart attacks and died within hours of getting the shot. The nationwide vaccination effort began as a result of a virus that was first identified at Fort Dix, N.J., and labeled a "killer flu." In fact, the virus never moved outside the Fort Dix area. Later research showed it would probably have been much less deadly than the Spanish flu. The initial victim was the only death from the swine flu itself in 1976. But as the critics pointed out, hundreds of Americans were killed or seriously injured by the inoculation the government gave them to stave off the virus.


1986 – Sunday If it has four legs and is not a chair, has wings and is not an aeroplane, or swims and is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it……..Prince Philip…..Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh visited the People's Republic of China where the Duke famously told a group of British students during a 1986 state visit to China that they would become ‘slitty-eyed’ if they remained in the country any longer.

1991 – Saturday High mountains, valleys and fields 
Are our native, holy land.
Our fathers lived amidst the Ala-Toe,
Always saving their motherland.

Come on, Kyrgyz people,
Come on to freedom!
Stand up and flourish!
Create your fortune!
.....National Anthem…..Never visit a country with “stan” at the end of its name… Askar Akayev, previously chosen President of Kyrgyzstan by republic's Supreme Soviet, was  confirmed president in an uncontested poll.  Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east.  Don’t fret Kyrgyzstan, Vladimir Putin wants you back.

            2000 –Thursday-  In Aden, the young man stood up for holy war and destroyed a destroyer feared by the powerful……Osama bin Laden…….A forty foot hole was blown into the hull of the destroyer, USS Cole.  Islamic terrorists in a rubber dinghy attacked the Cole as it was refueling in Aden, Yemen. Seventeen sailors were killed and 38 wounded.  The USS Cole was lifted aboard the Norwegian heavy transport ship M/V Blue Marlin and towed back to the United States.  The attack was attributed to al Qaeda and foreshadowed the attack on the U.S. less than one year later on September 11, 2001. “We need to keep reminding everyone that these people are not satisfied. These people keep wanting to hurt us,” Jesse Nieto, father of Engineman 2nd Class Mark Ian Nieto, one of the sailors who lost his life in the attack.

            2002 –Saturday- A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking knave, a whoreson, glass-gazing, super-serviceable finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch: one whom I will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deniest the least syllable of thy addition……….Kent…….King Lear  act 2.2. scene 14-24) Those dangerous loons were at it again as Islamic terrorists killed 202 people on the mostly Hindu island of Bali.  Three explosions were set off and killed at Paddy's Irish Bar and the nearby Sari Club were people from 21 countries, including 88 Australians, 38 Indonesians and 28 Britons.  The attack began when a small bomb, detonated through a cell phone exploded outside the USA consulate in the nearby village Denpasar, shortly before 11:00 p.m.causing minor injuries to one person. It is assumed that the purpose of this explosion was to divert the local police from the main scene in Kuta.

            2006 - Q: What do you get if you cross a pig with a dinosaur? A: Jurassic Pork!....A study published in Science announced the discovery of  600 million year old embryo fossils (of an unknown species), that were in the process of cell division when they were killed.  It was later discovered to  be an ancestor of any member of the cast of Jersey Shore.

             2007 –Friday- The scientific theory i like best is that the rings of saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage. Mark Russell……Get out your “floaties” and your raft and your umbrella drinks…. Radar images from the Cassini spacecraft (October 15, 1997) discovered hydrocarbon lakes and seas on the north pole of Saturn's moon Titan, while a new radar image revealed that Titan's south pole also has lakes. About 14 percent of the mapped region is covered by what scientists believe are lakes filled with liquid methane and ethane. Some the methane has attached itself to Titanian protozoa, returned to the planet of Cassini origin and affected susceptible humanoids with the Ameezing Virus. Symptoms usually manifested in females who repeatedly describe things as “sooooooo ameezing…..” Cassini is actually made up of two parts: the Cassini orbiter and the Huygens probe. The orbiter is the main part of the craft, and it carries 12 scientific experiments along with the Huygens probe which had been attached to its side prior to being jettisoned into the atmosphere of Titan. On the way to Saturn, Cassini searched for gravitational waves throughout the solar system and photographed any planets and moons that it passed.

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54  -Tuesday-  Oh here she comes
Watch out boy she'll chew you up
Oh here she comes
She's a maneater
Oh here she comes
Watch out boy she'll chew you up
Oh here she comes
She's a maneater…
Hall & Oats…
.The Roman emperor Claudius went kaput after being poisoned by his wife, Agrippina (sister of Caligula….what was he thinking in marrying her?). Indications are that he was poisoned by tainted mushrooms. Sixteen year old loon Nero, who had been officially adopted by Claudius was immediately hailed as the new Emperor without any consideration for Claudius’ own son, the much younger Britannicus, son of wife number three, the nymphomanical Messalina.        

            1307 –Thursday-  Torture, Torture
Baby, you're torturing me
Why do you lead me around and make me chase ya
When I catch ya, you won't let me embrace ya
Please baby, have a heart 'cause can't you see
You're torturing me, torturing me
…Everly Brothers…….Hundreds of Knights Templar including Grand Master  Jacques de Molay in France were simultaneously arrested by agents of  the ironically cogmented, Phillip the Fair, to be later tortured into "admitting" heresy. We note that this was described as Friday the 13th – the origin of bad luck on Friday the 13th, yet we checked October 13, 1307 in our magic whiz bang day looker upper - http://www.searchforancestors.com/utility/dayofweek.html. but this was Julian calendar, not Gregorian so…. it turned up as a Thursday.  The Templar Knights or 'Poor Knights of Christ' were a monastic order of knights founded in 1112 A.D. to protect the pilgrims along the path from Europe to the Holy Lands (Jerusalem). They took a vow of poverty which was rare for knights, and had to supply themselves with a horse, armor and weapons. The Templars were organized as a monastic order, following a rule created for them by Bernard of Clairvaux, the founder of the Cistercian Order. Philip, who seized the treasury and broke up the monastic banking system, was jealous of the Templars' wealth and power, and sought to control it for himself.

            1773 –Wednesday- Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space…..
.Douglas Adams….The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy…..The Whirlpool Galaxy (aka Messier 51a) was discovered by Charles Messier. Messier also discovered the Maytag, Kenmore, GE, Frigidaire, and Amana Galaxies. The Whirlpool Galaxy is the dominating member of a small group of galaxies, which also contains M63 and a number of fainter galaxies. It is about 37 million light years from Earth

 1775 –Friday  I wish to have no Connection with any Ship that does not Sail fast for I intend to go in harm's way…..John Paul Jones…………The Continental Congress authorized construction and administration of the first American naval force, the Continental Navy--the precursor of, yes,  the United States Navy.  They authorized the building of 13 frigates  (medium sized war vessels).  Esek Hopkins, of Rhode Island, was appointed commander-in-chief of the navy. The object of the armament was to intercept British vessels carrying supplies for the British armies in America. However,  the Continental war-ships were frequently more aggressive, also attacking ships containing awful British foods like jellied eels, stargazy pie, and marmite.  In addition, they  ransacked Elton John’s home in hopes of capturing his hairpiece.  Hopkins sailed on his first cruise in February, 1776. He left the Delaware with a small squadron of five vessels, carrying an aggregate of ninety-eight guns. The Alfred, was his flag-ship, and his first-lieutenant was John Paul Jones

 1792 –Saturday- Our house is a very, very fine house with two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard,
Now everything is easy cause of you and our la, la, la:
Our house is a very, very fine house with two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard,
Now everything is easy cause of you and our
I'll light the fire, you put the flowers in the vase that you bought today
….Crosby, Stills, & Nash……..The cornerstone was laid for a presidential residence in the newly designated capital city of Washington. In 1800, President John Adams became the first president to reside in the executive mansion, which soon became known as the "White House" because its white-gray Virginia freestone contrasted with the red brick of nearby buildings.  John was attracted to the “man cave” and Abigail to the granite counter tops, the crown moulding, vinyl tiles in the kitchen, and the ensuite bathroom with the rainfall shower head.  Thomas Jefferson was among the many people who submitted a plan for the White House. His design, however, was not chosen. Instead, James Hoban, an Irish immigrant architect living in Charleston, South Carolina, won the competition and a $500 prize, with a design modeled after Leister House in Dublin, Ireland. The White House has been called many names. Dolly Madison, wife of President James Madison, called it the "President's Castle." The White House was also called the "President's Palace," the "President's House," and the "Executive Mansion." The name "White House" didn't become official until 1901, when President Theodore Roosevelt officially adopted it.The presidential mansion was called the White House as early as 1809. President Theodore Roosevelt officially adopted the term in 1902.

            1820–Friday- Watson:  Holmes!  What kind of rock is this!  Holmes:  Sedimentary, my dear Watson. That is not a gneiss joke…………..Happy Birthday, John William Dawson, Canadian geologist and professor at McGill University, born in born in Pictou, Nova Scotia.  In 1852 Dawson discovered the Dendrerpeton acadianum, Pupa vetusta, and other fossil reptiles, and in 1864 the Eozoon canadense, which turned out to be the most important of his geological discoveries. Dawson concluded that Eozoon was the shell of a foraminiferan, a single-celled protistan complete with chambers and canal systems…but whoops……it was immediately challenged by two Irish geologists thus setting off a ten year kerfuffle. They claimed that Eozoon was not organic, but a metamorphic feature formed from the segregation of minerals in marble through the influence of great heat and pressure. Dawson was wrong.  They were right. His theory was up Dawson’s Creek.

1843 –Friday  A Jewish woman had 2 chickens. One got sick, so the woman madechicken soup out of the other one to help the sick one get well.    Why do Jewish divorces cost so much? They're worth it.        Why do Jewish men die before their wives? They want to.        Why don't Jews drink? It interferes with their suffering.                      A car hit a Jewish man. The paramedic says, "Are you comfortable?"    The man says, "I make a good living."….Henny Youngman….. Henry Jones and 11 other  German-Jewish immigrants gathered in Sinsheimer's Café in New York city and founded B'nai B'rith (the oldest Jewish service organization in the world). It was a basis of humanitarian aid and service that became a system of fraternal lodges and chapters grew in the United States and, eventually, around the world. In 1868, when a devastating flood crippled Baltimore, B'nai B'rith responded with a disaster relief campaign. This act preceded the founding of the American Red Cross by 13 years and was the first of many domestic relief programs.  That same year, B'nai B'rith sponsored its first overseas philanthropic project, raising $4,522 to aid the victims of a cholera epidemic in what was then Palestine.  

            1845-Monday-        You know the good part about all those executions in Texas? Fewer Texans…..George Carlin……….A majority of the citizens of the independent Republic of Texas approved a proposed constitution, that when accepted by the Congress, would  make Texas the 28th American state. Once approved by Texas voters, the proposed Annexation Ordinance and State Constitution were submitted to the United States Congress. The United States House and Senate, in turn, accepted the Texas state constitution in a Joint Resolution to Admit Texas as a State except for The Dallas Cowboys, The Astrodome, Lyndon Johnson, and John Wayne’s version of The Alamo, which was signed by the president on December 29, 1845 . Although the formal transfer of government did not occur until February 19, 1846, Texas statehood officially dates from the 29th of December.

                1853 –Thursday- It's a business. If I could make more money down in the zinc mines I'd be mining zinc…….Roger Maris… Zinc or swim….the Pennsylvania and LeHigh Zinc Company Mill was erected in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This mill produced the first commercial zinc.  The zinc was not from the kitchen (the kitchen zinc) it was obtained from calamine ores (a mixture of zinc oxide (ZnO) with about 0.5% iron(III) oxide (Fe2O3).

            1860 –Saturday-  Photograph - I don't want your 
Photograph - I don't need your 
Photograph - All I've got is a photograph 
But it's not enough …
.Def Leppard……. The first successful aerial photo in the U.S. was taken over Boston by James Wallace Black in a balloon, The Queen of the Air was held by a really long cable 1,200 feet above the city. Of the eight pictures that were exposed, using wet plates prepared in the balloon, one good photograph resulted. It was later titled, Boston as the Eagle and the Wild Goose See It. The photo showed an area bounded by Brattle Street on the north, the harbor on the east, Sumner Street on the south, and Park Street on the west.......and a line of undies drying on a clothesline behind a building on Park St.

1884 -Monday I'm late!
I'm late!
For a very important date!
No time to say "Hello", goodbye!
I'm late!
I'm late!
I'm late!
….The White Rabbit…..Greenwich was adopted as the universal meridian. At the request of U.S. President Chester Arthur delegates from 25 countries met in Washington, DC, for the International Meridian Conference. At the Conference several important principles were established, notably that a single world meridian passing through the principal Transit Instrument at the Observatory at Greenwich, England, that all longitude would be calculated both east and west from this meridian up to 180°; a universal day; and studies of the decimal system to the division of time and space, and who got to celebrate New Year’s first. The resolution fixing the Meridian at Greenwich was passed 22-1 (San Domingo voted against, France (naturally!) & Brazil abstained). Greenwich lies on the Thames River, a few miles from central London. The Royal Museums of Greenwich site notes that Greenwich was chosen for  two main reasons. The first was the fact that the United States (and they were hosting the conference) had already chosen Greenwich as the basis for its own national time zone system. The second was that in the late 19th century, 72% of the world's commerce depended on sea-charts which used Greenwich as the Prime Meridian.

           1892 –Thursday-  Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away
……Hughes Mearns……..American astronomer Edward Emerson Barnard discovered  D/1892 T1, the first comet discovered by photographic means.  Barnard was using the 15-cm Willard lens and was photographing the Milky Way west of the star Altair in the constellation Aquila. The comet was last detected on December 8. 1980 but has disappeared and become the Jimmy Hoffa of comets.

1903 –Tuesday-I thought I had to show all my stuff and I almost tore the boards off the grandstand with my fastball. …..Cy Young……. 7,455 fans at the Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds in Pittsburgh saw the Boston Americans, led by star pitcher Cy Young beat the Pittsburgh Pirates and star shortstop, Honus Wagner,  3-0 to win the first  Baseball World Series five games to three. It was to be a nine game series. Bill Dineen was the winning pitcher.  Deacon Phillippi, who had won the first game, was the loser. All three of Bostons runs were driven in by 2nd baseman, Hobe Ferris.

             1914 –Tuesday-  If you want to do something then be the best…… Garrett Morgan, American Black scientist  patented a prototype of the  gas mask. To counteract resistance to the idea of a Black inventor, Morgan hired a white actor to pose as "the inventor" during presentations of his breathing device; Morgan would pose as the inventor's sidekick, On July 25, 1916, he would make national news for using the gas mask to rescue several men trapped during an explosion in an underground tunnel beneath Lake Erie. After the rescue, Morgan's company received requests from fire departments around the country who wished to purchase the new masks. The Morgan gas mask was later refined for use by U.S. Army during World War I.  Morgan also received a lot of credit for the traffic signal.  With the number of cars multiplying, there were, surprise, an increasing number of crashes.  While other inventors had patented traffic signals to help sort out the mess, Morgan was one of the first to apply for and acquire a U.S. patent for an inexpensive to produce traffic signal. The Morgan traffic signal was a T-shaped pole unit that featured three positions: Stop, Go and an all-directional stop position. This “third position” halted traffic in all directions to allow pedestrians to cross streets more safely.

            1923 – Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it's Istanbul not Constantinople
Been a long time gone
Old Constantinople's still has Turkish delight
On a moonlight night
Evr'y gal in Constantinople
Is a Miss-stanbul, not Constantinople
So if you've date in Constantinople
She'll be waiting in Istanbul
…….The Four Lads……Ankara replaced Istanbul as the capital of Turkey. Circa 2000 BC the Hittities has occupied the city and called Ankara with the name Ankuwash.  Somehow, Ankara was Ankuwash. Now it’s Ankara not Ankuash….doesn’t have the same resonance, nor does it wash. Following World War I, Ankara (Turkey – called “the sick man of Europe by Czar Nicholas-  was allied with the Germans) was elected as the base of the Kemal Ataturk’s resistance forces during the Independece War and its fight against the Greek invasion. After gained the independence and the Ottoman Empire were defeated, Ataturk declared Ankara as the capital of the new Republic

            1926 –Wednesday- I got married for the first time last year. On June 19. People ask me, "How can you get married now? You're seventy-nine years old. And Theresa will be seventy-eight in September." I say, "What could I do? She told me she was pregnant………..Happy Birthday - Walter "Killer" Kowalski professional wrestler born in Windsor, Ontario.  Killer Kowalski and his“claw hold“ – it seemed to involve making the hand look like a claw and grab the opponent’s abdomen resulting in frantic writhing by the victim and a speedy submission – was one of the great villains of late 1950s –early 60’s wrestling.

                            1957- Sunday – Among other things, it was derided for having a grille that looked like a toilet seat. Time magazine popularized the wisecrack that it looked like an Oldsmobile sucking a lemon.”…..Yes, they were doing it back then too……….. CBS television presented a sixty minute commercial disguised as  a star-studded new musical variety special sponsored by the Ford Motor Company.  It starred  Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Louis Armstrong, The Four Preps,  Lindsey Crosby (at the time Bing was attempting to inflict members of his brood on the American public) and even the Norman Luboff Choir. The show celebrated the launch of the Ford Edsel, a new model which would soon be considered the standard by which all automobile flops (or any kind of flop)  are measured.  Not the first, but currently the oldest surviving show on videotape. It was aired live in 1957 in prime time, and simultaneously taped and filmed in kinescope for the sole purpose of broadcasting for the three-hour time delay on the West coast. In those days, shows which were taped (and not erased later) were ALSO kinescoped because the thought was that the tape might malfunction in the middle of the broadcast, but a kinescope film- which was all recorded off of a monitor and developed like motion picture film- would remain intact. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0346927/

                1958-Monday-  Problems, problems, problems all day long
Will my problems work out right or wrong
My baby don't like anything I do-o-o
My teacher seems to feel the same way too
Worries, worries pile up on my head
Woe is me I should have stayed in bed
The Everly Brothers recorded Problems, which never got the recognition it deserved. The song zeroed in perfectly on the existential experience of being a teenager. 

         1962 –Saturday Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;….
. Amiens:…..As You Like It (II, vii, 174-176) The normally dreary drizzly Pacific Northwest experienced a cyclone the equal of a Category  3 hurricane, The Columbus Day Windstorm. Winds measured above 150 mph at several locations. Forty six people died. The "storm" was actually three storms in quick succession. The first formed as a trough off the coast of Oregon on the 11th; it moved northward, and then northwestward, and began to taper off on the 12th. The second (and most destructive) storm formed from the remnants of Typhoon Freda, which moved northeastward from the Philippines, nearing the west coast early on the 12th. As it neared California, the storm nearly stopped moving, intensified, and began to slowly move northward just off the coast. As it moved, it wreaked havoc from northern California to British Columbia

            1965-Wednesday- People try to put us d-down (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Just because we get around (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
I hope I die before I get old (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
This is my generation
This is my generation, baby
Why don't you all f-fade away (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
And don't try to dig what we all s-s-say (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
I'm not trying to cause a big s-s-sensation (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
I'm just talkin' 'bout my g-g-g-generation (Talkin' 'bout my generation
)…… The Who recorded My Generation. Famously Roger Daltrey sang the lead vocals with a st st st st stutter, which was very un un un usual. After recording two takes with normal singing, their manager, Kit Lambert, suggested to Daltrey that he stutter to sound like a British kid on speed. This contains the famous line, "I hope I die before I get old." Who drummer Keith Moon did, dying of a drug overdose in 1978.

            1967 – Friday- What is so fascinating about sitting around watching a bunch of pituitary cases stuff a ball through a hoop..Woody Allen……..The first game in the history of the American Basketball Association was played as, using the red, white, and blue basketball,  The Oakland Oaks led by Rick Barry, defeated the Anaheim Amigos, led by Larry Bunce from Utah State. Steve Chubin and Les Selvage  134-129 in Oakland, California. The ABA existed from 1967 to 1976 --  until June 1976 when it merged with the National Basketball Association.  Four of the strongest ABA teams the New York Nets, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, and San Antonio Spurs) joined the NBA and the remaining ABA teams the Kentucky Colonels, the Spirits of St. Louis, and the Virginia Squires went kaput.

1970 – Tuesday Blessing grant, oh God of nations, on the isles of Fiji, 
As we stand united under noble banner blue. 
And we honour and defend the cause of freedom ever, 
Onward march together, 
God bless Fiji! 
For Fiji, ever Fiji, let our voices ring with pride, 
For Fiji, ever Fiji, her name hail far and wide, 
A land of freedom, hope and glory to endure whate'er befall
May God bless Fiji, forevermore! 
…….National Anthem……….Fiji joined the United Nations. And where is Fiji?  Did you say in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,100 nautical miles northeast of New Zealand's North Island.  Did you say if it is islands they must be Water Melanesia?  You did?  The Fiji Tourism site notes; “Bula! Welcome to Fiji.The heart of the South Pacific, Fiji is blessed with 333 tropical islands that are home to happiness.For the perfect holiday, choose from affordable accommodation all the way through to exclusive 5 star resorts, bunk down in a hostel or book an island to yourself.Famous for its soft coral diving, white sand beaches and pristine natural environment Fiji is a leader in eco-tourism. For business travel there is no better place halfway between North America and Asia.Weddings and honeymoons in Fiji are a dream of a lifetime, and families and children have a special place here.”

1976 –Wednesday  Ebola haunted Zaire because of corruption and political repression. The virus had no secret powers, nor was it unusually contagious. For centuries Ebola had lurked in the jungles of central Africa. Its emergence into human populations required the special assistance of humanity's greatest vices : greed, corruption, arrogance, tyranny, and callousness…..Laurie Garrett…… The first electron micrograph of an Ebola viral particle from Zaire was obtained by Dr. F.A. Murphy, working at the Center for Disease Control.  Dr. Murphy noted its uncanny resemblance to Leonid Breshnev. The now famous photo of the Ebola virus appears in the film Outbreak, a 1995 movie starring Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, and the inevitable Morgan Freeman. The electron microscope was Co-invented by Germans, Max Knoll and Ernst Ruska in 1931, Ernst Ruska. Ebola (named after the Ebola River in Zaire) first emerged in Sudan and Zaire. The first outbreak of Ebola (Ebola-Sudan) infected over 284 people, with a mortality rate of 53%. A few months later, the second Ebola virus emerged from Yambuku, Zaire, Ebola-Zaire (EBOZ). EBOZ, with the highest mortality rate of any of the Ebola viruses (88%), infected 318 people.

1983Thursday Cellphones are wonderful, but they empower the obnoxious and amplify the ignorant. Once they kept their thoughts to themselves. They had no choice. Now they have cellphones, into which they bark, “I’m on line at Duane Reade. Yeah. Ex-Lax.” Oh, thank you for sharing…..Peggy Noonan……..How much less my life would be if I didn’t know. Ameritech Mobile Communications (now part of Verizon Wireless )launched the first US cellular network in Chicago, Illinois. The event was held at Soldier Field, where Ameritech Mobile, now part of Verizon Wireless, made the call from a Motorola DynaTAC 8000X known as the “brick” phone. The phone cost $3,995, was 13 inches long, and weighed 1.75 pounds.  Bob Barnett, president of Ameritech Mobile, made the first cell phone call to Alexander Graham Bell’s great-grandson, who happened to be in Germany at the time. A.S. Tanenbaum in his book, Computer Networks notes that Cellular networks are called such because of the fact that a geographical area is divided up into cells, each cell being serviced by one or more radio transceivers (transmitter/ receiver). Communication in a cellular network is full duplex. Full duplex communication is attained by sending and receiving messages on two different frequencies - frequency division duplexing (FDD). The reason for the cellular topology of the network, is to enable frequency reuse. Cells a certain distance apart can reuse the same frequencies. This ensures the efficient usage of limited radio resources.  But then you think of that every time you text a friend.

1985 - Sunday Get me a proctologist right away! …..Daffy Duck…….At the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois, the first observation was made of proton-antiproton collisions by the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) with 1.6 TeV center-of-mass energy. In all, 23 of collisions were detected in Oct 1985 and several protons claimed whiplash while a number of antiprotons said their airbags were defective. Running protons against antiprotons has the advantage of allowing one to use the same magnets to bend both beams, circulating in opposite directions, in the same way. The Tevatron, four miles in circumference (originally named the Energy Doubler), is the world's highest-energy particle accelerator. Its low-temperature cooling system was the largest ever built when it was placed in operation in 1983.

1990-Saturday Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks
……..In a move that stunned, but shouldn’t have, his longtime fans….obviously they forgot when he went electric, Bob Dylan wa sinvited to perform at the West Point US Military Academy. Typicaly, he performed his scathing anti-war attack Masters Of War and yes, several cadets turned song Blowin' In The Wind into a singalong.

1993 -WednesdayBeing a Nobel laureate is a license to be an expert in lots of things as long as you do your homework…..Kary Mullis……In a Nobel Twofer, the prizes for for chemistry  and physics were awarded on the same day.  Kary Mullis & Michael Smith won for chemistry - for contributions to the developments of methods within DNA-based chemistry  with one half to Kary B. Mullis "for his invention of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method" and with one half to Michael Smith "for his fundamental contributions to the establishment of oligonucleotide-based, site-directed mutagenesis and its development for protein studies. Why a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five……Groucho Marx……. and Russel Hulse & Joseph Taylor of physics for the discovery of a new type of pulsar, (a rapidly rotating, highly magnetized neutron star) a discovery that has opened up new possibilities for the study of gravitation - designated PSR1913+16, in a binary system, in orbit with another star around a common center of mass.

            2007 Saturday- Havin' my baby
What a lovely way of sayin'
How much you love me
Havin' my baby
What a lovely way of sayin'
What you're thinkin' of me
I can see it, face is glowin'
I can see in your eyes
I'm happy you know it….
Paul Anka……Scientists successfully inseminated a rhinoceros with formerly frozen sperm. This world-first artificial insemination of a white rhino with frozen rhino sperm took place in Budapest Zoo. The proud test-tube father called Simba was 38 years old and lived in the Zoo of Colchester, UK. The pregnant female was Rosie O’Donnell. Unfortunately, this first rhino ever conceived by artificial insemination died in the womb a few hours before its birth. The death occurred on August 9, 2008 in the Budapest Zoo. The mother of the unborn rhino, Lulu (aged 25), had suffered from uterine bleedings.

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 1066-Sunday -I'll tell of the Battle of Hastings
As 'appened in days long gone by
When Duke William became King of England
And 'Arold got shot in the eye
It were this way - one day in October
The Duke  - who was always a toff -
'Aving no battles on at moment
'ad given his lads day off
They'd all tekken boats and gone fishing
'Till some chap in to' Conqueror's ear
Said "Let's go put breeze up Saxons"
Says Bill "By gum, that's an idea"
Then turning around to his soldiers
He lifted his big Norman voice, shouting
'Ands up who's coming to England?That were swank 'cos they 'adn't no choice…..Traditional folk song…….. Battle of Hastings, one of those seminal battles that changed the course of history. William, Duke of Normandy defeated Harold,
 king of Saxons. Harold was killed when shot in the eye with arrow and William, previously known as "William the Bastard", was now known as William the Conqueror. English King Edward (known as Edward the Confessor) had gone kaput in January 1066. 
While Edward was good at confessing he was not so good at impregnating his queen. He left no heirs, and his  passing ignited a three-way rivalry for the crown. The leading pretender was Harold Godwinson, the second most powerful man in England and an advisor
to Edward. Harold and Edward became brothers-in-law when the king married Harold's sister.  His claim was strengthened when the dying Edward supposedly uttered "Into Harold's hands I commit my Kingdom." The 2nd claimant was Harald Hardrada,
King of Norway.  The 3rd, William, justified his claim through his blood relationship with Edward (they were distant cousins) and by stating that some years earlier, Edward had designated him as his successor. In a single day Duke William of Normandy
 (note William was later to change is name to Ol’ Dirty Bastard and be one of the founding members of Wu Tang Clan) conquered a kingdom that had resisted Viking invasions for years on end, ending a line of Anglo-Saxon kings that claim decent from Alfred the Great.
 This conquest altered the whole outlook of England, taking a nation that had looked towards Scandinavia, especially under three Danish kings, and locking her into a partnership and a struggle with France that was to last for centuries. Hastings was a day long battle.
faltering, the infantry withdrew and the Norman cavalry moved in to attack. This too was beaten back with the horses having difficulty climbing a steep ridge. Late in the day, William altered his tactics and ordered his archers to shoot at a higher angle so
that their arrows fell on those behind the shield wall. This proved lethal for Harold's forces and his men began to fall. Legend states that he was hit in the eye with an arrow and killed. With the Saxons taking casualties, William ordered an assault which finally brok through the shield wall. If Harold was not struck by an arrow, he died during this attack.

            1322 –Wednesday-  It must be I who Lead, since only I know what I would effect. Moreover, I do not ask others to do what I will not myself do. You know that…….Robert the Bruce (brother of Lenny the Bruce) of Scotland defeated forces of the testeronically challenged King Edward II of England at Byland Abbey in Yorkshire, forcing Edward to accept Scotland's independence.  Edward’s siege of  Berwick had failed and  he retreated, pursued by Bruce. The Bruce's men attacked over the hills from Northallerton. They dispersed the royal rearguard at Old Byland but Edward escaped to York. A king of England in flight in his own country was mortifying. Edward left in such a hurry that all his silver and plate including the Great Seal of England was left behind and captured by the Scots.

            1633- Friday-The Duke of York in all things but in his codpiece, is led by the nose by his wife- Samuel Pepys (writing about James II, before he became king, and the influence of his wife Anne Hyde). Happy Birthday King James II of England or ’Dismal Jimmy’ as the Scots called him. The hopelessly inept James succeeded Charles II and was either a Catholic or had strong Catholic sympathies.  When his wife, Anne  gave birth to a son, Parliament, fearing the return of a Catholic dynasty, invited William of Orange of Holland to become king (William’s wife, Mary was a daughter of James II but Protestant.  In 1688 William landed in England (at Brixham) with a large Dutch army, the English army deserted to his side, and James was left with no supporters…..athletic or otherwise…..On December 11, 1688 he was forced to flee Britain, an event that effectively ended his reign.On January 28, 1689, the Parliament of England decided that James' flight was an abdication of the throne and therefore gave William and Mary the legal right to assume power. This coup d'état cemented the primacy of parliament over monarch and became known as The Glorious Revolution. James went on to Ireland and proceeded to lose that country too.

1644 –Friday-  I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness or abilities that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again…….Happy Birthday, William Penn, English Quaker and advocate for religious liberty; founded American colony of Pennsylvania.  He created a written constitution for the colony that amazingly limited the power of government. It also called for freedom of the press and the right to own private property. In this way, Pennsylvania had many of the rights and liberties that would later be granted the citizens of the United States through its constitution.  On March 4, 1681, Charles II signed a charter for territory west of the Delaware River and north of Maryland, approximately the present size of Pennsylvania. The King proposed the name "Pennsylvania" which meant "Forests of Penn"--honoring Penn's late father, the Admiral.  Penn sailed to America on the ship Welcome and arrived November 8, 1682. With assembled Friends, he founded Philadelphia--he chose the name, which means "city of brotherly love" in Greek.

                    1687 –Tuesday- Our love, our love is like a triangle
Which one will have a broken heart
The memories, the memories we shared together
I cant believe you want us to part
…Janie Grant……..Happy Birthday Robert Simson, Scottish mathematician born in West Kilbride in Ayrshire. Simson is best know for best known for the Simson line of a triangle. The Simson line is the line containing the feet , , and of the perpendiculars from an arbitrary point Pon the circumcircle of a triangle to the sides or their extensions of the triangle.  Cut the Knot.com clears it all up for us by explaining that this definition is somewhat strange, for nowhere in the works of Simson any reference was found to the line that bears his name. On the other hand, Simson is said to have discovered the theorem that bears the name of Stewart. He's also proved the identity Fn+1Fn+1 - FnFn+2 = (-1)n between the Fibonacci numbers that explains the Fibonacci Bamboozlement puzzle……which is how and why one can cut an area and rearrange the pieces to get a bigger area. Glad we could clear that up for you.

            1773 –Thursday-  You can never be overdressed or overeducated…… Oscar Wilde……Having failed to establish a Ministry of Silly Walks, the first recorded Ministry of Education, the Komisja Edukacji Narodowej (Polish for Commission of National Education), was formed in Poland.  It was created by the Sejm and king Stanisław August Poniatowski on October 14, 1773. Because of its vast authority and autonomy, it is considered the first ministry of education in the history of mankind. Its' main organizer and chief figure was a Catholic priest Hugo Kołłątaj. Initially the body was formed of 4 senators and 4 members of Sejm, half of them representing the eastern voivodships (provinces) of Poland (former Grand Duchy of Lithuania). The first head of the KEN was prince bishop Michał Jerzy Poniatowski.

 1857 –Wednesday - Here in my car
I feel safest of all
I can lock all my doors
It's the only way to live 
In cars
……Gary Numan……Happy Birthday, Elwood Haynes American inventor born in Portland Indiana.  Haynes built one of the first successful gasoline-powered automobiles. In 1893, he purchased a gasoline engine and designed a "horseless carriage." The vehicle had its first test run on July 4, 1894, in Kokomo, with Haynes at the controls and traveling about 6 mi at a speed of about 6 or 7 mph.  We note that in 1899 the Literary Digest  (yes the same Literary Digest that announce that Alf Landon would win the 1935 presidential election in a landslide) announced that the horseless carriage would never be as common as the bicycle.  Haynes then went on to invent the muffler and different metal alloys. Specifically, he invented stellite alloy, which may be his most important invention. This metal alloy - cobalt-chromium (sometimes tungsten)  designed for wear resistance- was the first step in the development of a series of space-age alloys.  Of course the U.S, Britain, France and others were “alloys” during WW II.

1863 –Wednesday- Second to agriculture, humbug is the biggest industry of our age…….Alfred Nobel……….Culminating work begun in 1960. Alfred Nobel was granted his first patent, a Swedish patent for the preparation of nitroglycerin as an industrial explosive - his company had gone bankrupt during the Crimean War when Russia cancelled all orders.  In 1964 Ludwig, Alfred Nobel's brother, went kablooey during the preparation of nitroglycerine at Heleneborg, Stockholm.  A  French newspaper mistakenly ran an obituary for Alfred which called him the "merchant of death." Not wanting to go down in history with such a horrible epitaph, Nobel, a pacifist, created a will that established the now famous Nobel Prizes. Later, in 1868, Nobel patented dynamite as a form for safer handling nitroglycerin.  Either way it was an explosive situation.

1890-Tuesday- In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. ……..Happy Birthday Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th president of the U.S, born in Texas in 1890, brought up in Abilene, Kansas. One of the great leaders in American history (although a conspicuously dull public speaker),  in June 1942 Eisenhower was made the leader of the November 1942 invasion of North Africa. The plan for the invasion of North Africa was to trap the Axis troops led by Erwin Rommel (1891–1944) between British and U.S. forces. By May 1943 the North African operation had succeeded and the Allies had taken control of Africa. On December 24, 1943, he was appointed supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and the next month he was in London making preparations, while diplomatically handling Churchill, DeGaulle, and jealous British generals, for the massive thrust into Europe. On June 6, 1944, Eisenhower gambled on a break in bad weather and gave the order to launch the Normandy Invasion, the largest amphibious attack in history. On D-Day more than 156,000 troops landed in Normandy. Germany surrendered on May 7, ending the war in Europe. Although Eisenhower was criticized, then and later, for allowing the Russians to capture the enemy capital of Berlin, he and others defended his actions on several grounds that the Russians were closer, had more troops, and had been promised Berlin at the Yalta Conference by the fading Franklin Roosevelt. He announced his candidacy for the Republican Party nomination for President on June 4, and, surprise!, was nominated at the Republican convention and elected on November 4, 1952. Eisenhower served two terms as President of the United States, January 20, 1953 to January 20, 1961. His administration saw the end of Korean War, (we hope) promoted Atoms for Peace, (well that sure worked out well) and dealt with crises in Lebanon, Suez, Berlin, and Hungary in foreign affairs. Alaska and Hawaii become states.  Including Ike, twelve generals have become president; Twelve presidents were generals: George Washington, Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, Zachery Taylor, Franklin Pierce, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield,  Chester A. Arthur, and Benjamin Harrison,

            1899 –Saturday-When I was sixteen
All of my dreams
Revolved around one thing
All I wanted was a car
All I wanted was a car…
Brad Paisley…….On this day the Literary Digest declared (see Elwood Hayes, 1857 above) that "the ordinary horseless carriage is at present a luxury for the wealthy; and although its price will probably fall in the future, it will never, of course, come into common use as a bicycle."  The Literary Digest returned to fame again in 1936 when, as the result of a postcard poll, it predicted that Alf Landon of Kansas would beat President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a landslide.

1912 –Monday-  You see, it takes more than one bullet to kill a Bull Moose …..Former President, Theodore Roosevelt, running for a 3rd term under his “Bull Moose” Party banner was shot by a saloon keeper, one John Schrank in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 
Roosevelt was getting ready to deliver a a campaign speech  was greeting the public in front of the Gilpatrick Hotel. Schrank's .32-caliber bullet, aimed directly at Roosevelt's heart, failed to mortally wound the former president because its force was slowed by a
glasses case and a bundle of manuscript in the breast pocket of Roosevelt's heavy coat--a manuscript containing Roosevelt's evening speech. Roosevelt actually went on to deliver the speech with the bullet in his body! He spoke for nearly an hour and then was
 rushed to the hospital. Shrank was found to be insane and committed to a mental hospital, where he died in 1943. Other failed assassination attempts included; Andrew Jackson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan.

1922-Saturday-  Got my shoes shined up
I got my hair slicked down
'Cause baby I wanna hit the town
Call me - Pennsylvania 6-5000
I'm gonna shake you up (all night)
Rock you all night long (all right)
Baby you got something
Goin' on
Call me - Pennsylvania 6-5000

Write it down,in your bookOn your wall,oh baby just callPennsylvania 6-5000
……Glenn Miller….. The first automated telephones, the Pennsylvania exchange in N.Y. City, become operational. A telephone exchange or telephone switch is a system of electronic
components that connects telephone calls. 
The first telephone exchange opened in New Haven, Connecticut in 1878.  In 1891 Almon Strowger, an
undertaker in Kansas City, Missouri, patented the stepping switch, a device which led to the automation of the telephone circuit switching. 
We guess that,as an undertaker, it  gave new meaning to the term “line is dead”.

1944 –Saturday-In the absence of orders, go find something and kill it …..Erwin Rommel……Rommel kaput……German General Erwin Rommel, nicknamed "the Desert Fox," because of his exploits in North Africa from 1940 – 1943,  was given the option of facing a public trial for treason, as a co-conspirator in the July 1944 plot headed by Claus von Stauffenberg to assassinate Adolf Hitler, or taking cyanide. He chose the latter.  Because Rommel was such a great hero, the German people were told he died as a result of a head wound suffered on July 17 when his staff car was strafed by British bombers.

 1947-Saturday-  Unfortunately, many people do not consider fun an important item on their daily agenda. For me, that was always high priority in whatever I was doing. ………….Charles (Chuck) Yeager was the first person to fly a plane faster than the sound barrier.  Of course when he landed he became ground chuck. By the way, what is the speed of sound? Did you say 720 mph depending on altitude? The X-1 had gone through "the sonic wall" without so much as a bump. As the speed topped out at Mach 1.05, Yeager had the sensation of shooting straight through the top of the sky. The sky turned a deep purple and all at once the stars and the moon came out - the sun shone at the same time. ... He was simply looking out into space. ... He was master of the sky. His was a king's solitude, unique and inviolate, above the dome of the world. It would take him seven minutes to glide back down and land at Muroc. He spent the time doing victory rolls and wing-over-wing aerobatics while Roger Lake and the High Sierras spun around below….Tom Wolfe….The Right Stuff.

1955 –Friday - Well, that'll be the day, when you say goodbye
Yes, that'll be the day, when you make me cry
You say you're gonna leave, you know it's a lie
'Cause that'll be the day when I die
……………Unknown singer and guitarist, nineteen year old  Buddy Holly opened for Elvis Presley in Holly's hometown of Lubbock, TX. A few days later, opening for Bill Haley and His Comets  at the Fair Park Auditorium,  (note: we’ve seen him opening for Elvis on the Buddy Holly Timeline and opening for Bill Haley on Oct. 14 on History of Rock.com)   Either way, Holly impressed Nashville talent scout Eddie Crandell so much that Crandell  set him up with studio time for his first demo.

             1962 Saturday- Our goal is not the victory of might, but the vindication of right- -not peace at the expense of freedom, but both peace and freedom, here in this hemisphere, and, we hope, around the world. God willing, that goal will be achieved.Thank you and good night. ….President John F. Kennedy – Speech to the American People, October 22, 1962 …….The Cuban Missile Crisis began.  It would  bring the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear conflict. Photographs taken by a high-altitude U-2 spy plane offered incontrovertible evidence that Soviet-made medium-range missiles in Cuba--capable of carrying nuclear warheads--were now stationed 90 miles off the American coastline. President John F. Kennedy announced an embargo on Communist ships going to Cuba. On the 18th, President Kennedy met with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrie Gromyko and advised him that America would not tolerate Soviet missiles in Cuba. Fingers crossed behind his back, Gromyko denied the presence of any Soviet weaponry in Cuba.  On the 25th, U.S. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson confronted the Soviets at the U.N. but they refused to answer. American military forces were instructed to set DEFCON 2 - the highest ever in U.S. history.

                1964 –Wednesday-  Happy birthday, Leonid Brezhnev
What a lovely seventy-fifth
We watched the party on TV
You seemed to be taking things casually
What a mighty heart must beat in your breast
To hold forty-nine medals on your chest
Think of all the gifts that you've got
Some were acquired and some were not
Like a natural talent for marionettes
Who do your dirty work and cover your bets
So with one hand waving free
The other one crushed a budding democracy
 …….Joan Baez…………Warm, cuddly, Leonid Brezhnev became the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and thus the leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), the worker’s paradise. Continuing the honored communist tradition of one man-one government, old Leonid had ousted the former monolithic leader, shoe banging Nikita Khrushchev - Khrushchev protégé - and sent him into retirement as a nonperson in the USSR.

1966-Friday-  Would you like to know a secret just between you and me
I don't know where I'm going next, I don't know who I'm gonna be
But that's the other side of this life I've been leading
That's the other side of this life.
……Soon to be the object of an 1960’s crush by Professor Sy Yentz, Gracie Slick made her first stage appearance with  Jefferson Airplane at Fillmore in San Francisco. Lead singer, Signe Anderson, had her final performance (she was pregnant) with the group on the 13th and Gracie, former lead singer of the Great Society took over the following night. Alan Bershaw in Concert Vault notes  The set began with a cover of Fred Neil's The Other Side Of This Life.

1968-Monday  It is better to travel well than to arrive….Buddha ……First live T.V broadcast from space——Apollo 7.  Captain Walter Schirra, Jr., Major Donn Eisele and Major Walt Cunningham showed views of the satellite and views through the windows. They also gave several press conferences, performed a Punch and Judy puppet show, cooked fajitas, did imitations of several politicians, and harmonized on Fly Me to the Moon,  from earth orbit during the flight. Apollo 7 was the first piloted Apollo flight.

1968 –Monday-  Running on-running on empty
Running on-running blind
Running on-running into the sun
But I'm running behind
……Jackson Browne…….Jim Hines of the United States, being pursued by the Real House Wives of  Orange County,  became the first man ever to break the so-called "ten-second barrier" in the 100-meter sprint in the Olympic Games held in (high altitude, thin air) Mexico City with a time of 9.95 seconds. Hines remained the only athlete to sprint 100 meters in under 10.0 seconds until the year 1977.  The Real House Wives also finished in under 10 seconds.

1982 –Thursday- You know I've smoked a lot of grass
O' Lord, I've popped a lot of pills
But I never touched nothin'
That my spirit could kill
You know, I've seen a lot of people walkin' 'round
With tombstones in their eyes
But the pusher don't care
Ah, if you live or if you die
God damn, The Pusher
God damn, I say The Pusher
I said God damn, God damn The Pusher man
……..Steppenwolf……….President Ronald Reagan proclaimed a War on Drugs.  Well that sure worked out well.

            1998 –Wednesday-  Eric Robert Rudolph was charged with six bombings including the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta, Georgia.  By 1999, on the third anniversary of the bombing, Rudolph had not been seen for over a year, and authorities sometimes voiced a belief or hope that survivalist Rudolph had gone kaput due  to the elements. After more than five years on the run, Rudolph was arrested on May 31, 2003, in Murphy, North Carolina. On April 8, 2005, the government announced that the terrorist Rudolph would plead guilty to all four bombings, including the Centennial Olympic Park attack. Rudolph was sentenced to four life terms without the possibility of parole, and forced to watch the Oprah Winfrey Channel for 20 hrs a day,  at ADX Florence supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.

2003 – Tuesday  Stewie -"Ooh! Steve! It's coming right at us! Grab it!" . Steve -  "I don't wanna get in the way." Stewie -  "It's a foul ball, what harm can it do?" and Steve catches it just as the guy on the team leaps through the air to catch it in his glove……The Family Guy………Chicago Cubs fan Steve Bartman becomes infamously known as the scapegoat for the Cubs losing game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series to the Florida Marlins. The brattish yuppie reached for a foul ball off Florida Marlins' Luis Castillo and disrupted what could have been a catch by the Cubs' Moisés Alou. The Cubs went on to blow a 3-0 lead in that inning, gave up eight runs to the Marlins and fell short of winning their first NL pennant and World Series berth since 1945.

2006 – Saturday I remember thinking it would be a slight confrontation……Scholar athlete Chris Smith of Florida International who’s punch at a Miami scholar athlete precipitated the college football brawl between scholar athletes from University of Miami and Florida International University led to suspensions of 31 players of both teams. Suspensions were doubled if the player could neither read nor spell the word suspension. Miami won the game 35-0.

2012 – Sunday  You jump off a cliff and you assemble an airplane on the way down. …..Reid Hoffman……..Discovering that he left his wallet and passport at home, Felix Baumgartner jumped from the stratosphere to try to break the record of the highest freefall jump, at an altitude of 39,068 meters (128,018 ft).  He also He became the first human to break the sound barrier with his body by skydiving from near the edge of space.  Baumgartner was in free fall for 4 minutes and 19 seconds

Back to Calendar


70 B.C –Wednesday- I am of Ithaca and sailed for Troy,
a comrade of unfortunate Ulysses; my name is Achaemenides.
- Virgil, The Aeneid, Book 3, lines 794-6 ……. Fortuna dies natalis!/Happy Birthday, Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro) regarded as the greatest Roman poet. His epic, the Aeneid  - prompted by a “request” from the emperor Augustus and written about 29 B.C, adopted the literary model of  Homer’s epic poems Iliad and Odyssey and There Once Was a Young Man From Troy…...  Aeneas, a Trojan traveled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. It is written in dactylic hexameter (a poetic meter common in epic poetry [Homer used  the same style] and characterized by lines measuring six each. A dactyl is a poetic unit consisting of one long and two short syllables (or one stressed and two unstressed [unless one becomes “dis stressed”] syllables). Of course if you are afraid of it it is a  “terror dactyl” It is said that the poet had instructed his executor Varius to destroy The Aeneid, but Augustus ordered Varius to ignore this request, and the poem was published.  In The Divine Comedy, masterpiece of Italian poet Dante Alighieri, the narrator was guided by Virgil, mainly on the tour of Hell.  Virgil went kaput from  a fever in 19 BC. On his deathbed he is supposed to have ordered the Aeneid to be destroyed, but on Augustus's orders it was published.

                1492 –Saturday-  We found a man in a canoe going from Santa Maria to Fernandia. He had with him some dried leaves which are in high value among them, for a quantity of it was brought to me at San Salvador"…. Christopher Columbus' Journal ……Salem, don’t inhalem” - Christopher Columbus mentioned  tobacco use by the Indians. " Eventually, his sailors brought tobacco back to Europe, and the plant was being grown all over Europe. The major reason for tobacco's growing popularity in Europe was its supposed healing properties. Europeans believed that tobacco could cure almost anything, from bad breath to cancer

            1582 –Friday  Friday, thank God it's Friday, Friday
Thank God it's Friday, Friday, Friday, Frida
y ….Donna Summer
Back to normal after the missing days. Pope Gregory XIII implements the Gregorian calendar. In Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain, October 4 of this year is followed directly by October 15. 
Use of the Gregorian calendar in the United States stems from an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1751, which specified use of the Gregorian calendar in England and its colonies. We were going to give the list of who changed and when but Gregory opened a centuries long can of calandaric worms.  Look at http://www.webexhibits.org/calendars/year-countries.html for the complete list but of all places, the last to change was Greece in 1923.


 1608 –Wednesday- I claim that the force which keeps the mercury from falling is external and that the force comes from outside the tube…………….. Happy Birthday, Evangelista Torricelli, Italian scientist born in Faenza, Italy. He was a physicist, mathematician and the inventor of the barometer (barometer is an instrument for measuring atmospheric pressure – it was originally  known as a “Torricelli Tube”) In 1641, Torricelli moved to Florence to assist Galileo Galilei.  Using the liquid metal mercury, Torricelli became the first scientist to create a sustained vacuum and to discover the principle of a barometer when he realized that the variation of the height of the mercury from day to day was caused by changes in the atmospheric pressure.


 1783 –Wednesday- who knows if the moon's
a balloon,coming out of a keen city
in the sky--filled with pretty people?
( and if you and I should
get into it,if they
should take me and take you into their balloon,
……e.e cummings………The first tethered balloon flight was made by Frenchman Jean Pilâtre de Rozier in the gardens of La Muette. The Montgolfier-made balloon, Aerostat Reveillon, carrying Pilâtre, first man to leave the earth, rose to the end of its 250- ft tether …. Where Pilâtre dropped water balloons on the spectators…..no, no, no Professor Sy Yentz has his airborne sense of humor…  It stayed aloft for15 minutes and  then landed safely nearby.


1829 –Thursday- They [the Laputians] have likewise discovered two lesser stars, or satellites, which revolve about Mars, whereof the innermost is distant from the center of the primary planet exactly three of its diameters, and the outermost five; the former revolves in the space of ten hours, and the latter in twenty-one and a half; so that the squares of their periodical times are very near the same proportion with the cubes of their distance from the center of Mars, which evidently shows them to be governed by the same law of gravitation that influences the other heavenly bodies…..Jonathan Swift…… Gulliver's Travels ……Happy Birthday, Asaph Hall, American astronomer born in Goshen, Ct. Hall discovered and named the two moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos, in August, 1877 and calculated their orbits. In mythology, Phobos and Deimos were the sons of Ares (Roman god Mars) and Aphrodite (Roman god Venus) conceived after a night of Beer Pong. Phobos is Greek for the root of fear. Deiomos is panic, sort of what some folks get before high stakes tests or job interviews.  For a list of “fears”- “We have nothing to phobe but phobe itself” see our Brain Stuff page - http://www.sciencegnus.com/page16.html

1844 –Tuesday- How many existentialists does it take to change a light bulb?
Two. One to change the lightbulb and one to observe how the lightbulb symbolizes an incandescent beacon of subjectivity in a netherworld of Cosmic Nothingness.
...... Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. ……..Happy Birthday, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, German philosopher. Nietzsche is often referred to as one of the first existentialist philosophers. Existentialism is a philosophy concerned with finding self and the meaning of life through free will, choice, and personal responsibility. The belief is that people are searching to find out who and what they are throughout life as they make choices based on their experiences, beliefs, and outlook. Read Camus and you’ll understand….at least until your existence changes. Nietzsche  achieved renewed fame with his quote “God is Dead” (from Thus Spoke Zarathustra) in the 1970s  which spawned the famous graffiti of “God is Dead… Nietzsche    Nietzsche is Dead….God”.


1860 –Monday - I am glad to see you; I suppose you are to see me; but I certainly think I have the best of the bargain. (Applause.) Some three months ago, I received a letter from a young lady here; it was a very pretty letter, and she advised me to let my whiskers grow, as it would improve my personal appearance;….Abraham Lincoln – February 19, 1862 stopping at Westfield, New York on his way to his inauguration.  Who says politicians don’t listen?  Eleven-year-old Grace Bedell of Westfield, N.Y., wrote a letter to presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln, suggesting he could improve his appearance by growing a beard.  And so he did. In Lincoln's response of October 19, he gave no promises, but a month later allowed his beard to grow.
By the time Lincoln left his Illinois home to start his inaugural journey to Washington, D.C., he wore a full beard. The trip took him by rail through New York state, stopping briefly in Westfield on February 16. Once at the train station, he called into the crowd for Grace.


1863 – Thursday  ……It’s déjà vu all over again…..Yogi Berra........The Confederate submarine CSS Hunley (named after its inventor) sunk again.  The Hunley could dive but it required calm waters.  Upon its arrival at Charleston Harbor, it sank on its first test run when a crewman got entangled in the machinery (don’t ask!) and it dived with the hatch open.  A few days later on Oct. 15, Hunley, the inventor and crew took another dive to prove how safe it was.  Spectators watched as they stayed under water, and stayed under water, and stayed under water…yup, they drowned.  Incredibly, the Hunley was brought to the surface, emptied of the corpses and another crew was  rounded up.  Even more incredibly, it actually worked and sunk the Union ship Housatonic. That was the Hunley’s first and only successful mission.  Yup, it sunk again taking yet another crew with it.  It stayed at the bottom of Charleston Bay until 2000 when it was raised for exhibition in the Charleston History Museum.   

            1878-Tuesday- Oh no, we gonna rock down to Electric Avenue
And then we'll take it higher
Oh, we gonna rock down to Electric Avenue
And then we'll take it higher
……Eddy Grant………….The First electric light company formed, or switched on. It would be incorporated on Nov. 15.  The Edison Electric Light Co. would have its headquarters on 5th Ave. in N.Y.C.  Shortly afterwards rival business’s started turning on. The Thomson-Houston electric company, was formed in 1883 from the merger of the Elihu Thomson’s American Electric Company (Thompson’s inventions include the street arc lamp) and the interests of Edwin Houston (American electrical engineer) to compete against Edison’s company. …...and the results were shocking as well as illuminating. This competition led Edison to bring together his various businesses under the banner of…..tada………… the Edison General Electric Company by 1890. However, the electric companies leaders realized that it was in their best interests to come together and form a conglomerate. Thus, together they formed the General Electric company in 1892 

 1880- Friday-  You can take no credit for beauty at sixteen. But if you are beautiful at sixty, it will be your soul's own doing.……….. Happy Birthday, Marie Stopes, Scottish scientist, educator, birth control advocate, and poet born in Edinburgh. She became a famous paleobotanist writing such riveting books as The Constitution of Coal, published in 1918, and The Four Visible Ingredients in Banded Bituminous Coal: Studies in the Composition of Coal,  published in 1919.   Breaking away from her fascination with coal, in her book, Married Love, she made the then highly controversial argument that posited  marriage should be an equal relationship between husband and wife.  Her married life wasn’t a rousing success as it turned out her husband was impotent……….probably after reading The Constitution of Coal.  Her second marriage was more successful.  She made her name through her writing and campaigning on family planning services. But, as she had promised herself as a young girl, she would eventually become a poet.     

1910 –Saturday-  Q: What is the fastest way to determine the sex of a chromosome? A: Pull down its genes…..Happy Birthday, Torbjörn Oskar Caspersson, Swedish cytologist (a biologist who studies the structure and function of cells) and geneticist (a biologist who specializes in genetics ) – which made him a cytogeneticist , born in Motala. Caspersson initiated the use of the ultraviolet microscope (A special type of purple microscope which uses electromagnetic radiation in the range 180-400 nanometers; it requires reflecting optics or special quartz and crystal objectives as well as the music of  the Mantovani Orchestra in the background) to determine the nucleic acid content of cellular structures such as the nucleus and nucleolus. This was preliminary work necessary for the discovery in the 1950’s of the double helix by Crick, Watson and Franklin and Wilkins.

            1917 – Monday Tell me why
I don’t like Mondays
Tell me why
I don’t like Mondays
Tell me why
I don’t like Mondays
I wanna shoo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oot the whole day down
…..Boomtown Rats - …… Mata Hari kaput. Mata Hari, the Dutch exotic dancer, courtesan and spy, was executed for espionage by a French firing squad at Vincennes outside of Paris.  Margaretha Zelle, her real name, was a horizontally accessible woman who slept with both allied and German officers.  There is much debate to this day as to the extent of her spying or the French using the case to distract attention from their dismal performances on the battlefield.  In fact, she was betrayed by Germans sending her identity in a code that they knew the allies had already broken.  See same day, 1945

             1945 –Monday- I have learned to hate all traitors, and there is no disease that I spit on more than treachery….Aeschylus….. Continuing a bang bang day for French folks, see Mata Hari above,  Pierre Laval, the puppet leader of Nazi-occupied Vichy France, was kaputed  by firing squad at Fresnes Prison in Paris for treason against France.  Laval had ordered the French police to begin rounding up Jews in France. He also made the decision in June 1942 to send skilled laborers to Germany in exchange for French prisoners of war. He also  gave permission for the Gestapo to hunt down the French Resistance in unoccupied France.

            1946 –Tuesday-What we obtain too cheap, we esteem to lightly. ……Thomas Paine……In the smallest World Series share since 1918, each member of the victorious St. Louis Cardinals  (four games to three) received $3,748 and Johnny Pesky and Red Sox received $2,140. We note that the losing Red Sox share would not be sufficient to buy one luxury seat for one game at the new Yankee Stadium. Shares rose over the next fifty years above $300,000 per player.

            1946 –Tuesday-  The large and varied role of Göring was half militarist and half gangster. He stuck his pudgy finger in every pie. He used his SA musclemen to help bring the gang into power. In order to entrench that power, he contrived to have the Reichstag burned, established the Gestapo, and created the concentration camps. He was equally adept at massacring opponents and at framing scandals to get rid of stubborn generals. He built up the Luftwaffe [air force] and hurled it at his defenseless neighbors. He was among the foremost in harrying Jews out of the land. By mobilizing the total economic resources of Germany, he made possible the waging of the war which he had taken a large part in planning. He was, next to Hitler, the man who tied the activities of all the defendants together in a common effort……..Robert H. Jackson - summation for the prosecution at the Nuremberg Trials …….Herman Goering kaput.  Herman Goering, commander in chief of the Luftwaffe, president of the Reichstag, head of the Gestapo, prime minister of Prussia, chief forester of the Reich, chief liquidator (i.e art thief) of sequestered estates, supreme head of the National Weather Bureau, mass murderer and Hitler's designated successor cheated justice by committing suicide via swallowing a cyanide pill (origin unknown – American guard, Herbert Lee Stivers,  suspected) just hours before his scheduled hanging after being found guilty of war crimes at the Nuremburg Trials. 

            1951 –Monday- …Lucy Ricardo: I want the names to be unique and euphonious.Ricky Ricardo: Okay. Unique if it's a boy, and Euphonious if it's a girl. ….The situation comedy  I Love Lucy  premiered on CBS at 9 p.m.  Lucille Ball, and Desi Arnez would go on to make 181 episodes (and millions of dollars) before the show stopped making new episodes in 1957.  It has never really gone off the air since the show gave birth to the rerun as well as being the first to use a three-camera setup before a live audience. It  overcame many technical obstacles of early TV through ingenious lighting, set design and editing. Note; Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance) appeared in 176 episodes and William Frawley (Fred Mertz) appeared in 175.

            1964 – Thursday-Modern technology
Owes ecology
An apology…
…..Alan M. Eddison ……
Many mothers think they have seen the longest skid marks, however, while trying to set a new one mile land-speed record, Craig Breedlove inadvertently lost control of the Spirit of America jet-powered car on the Bonneville Salt Flats testing area in Utah. The vehicle began a skid moments into the run, taking nearly six miles to decelerate from an initial speed of well over 400mph. When the dust cleared, Breedlove was record-holder for the longest skid marks ever recorded and a ticket issued by the local sheriff for failure of his break lights.   Later,  he went on to set several land speed records.

             1966 –Saturday- I hooked up my accelerator pedal in my car to my brake lights.  I hit the gas, people behind me stop, and I'm gone..Steven Wright…… Speaking of driving, see Craig Breedlove above, here is the worst driver in American history – according to the History Channel.   On this day in McKinney, Texas, it was reported that a 75-year-old male driver received 10 traffic tickets. He drove on the wrong side of the road four times, committed four hit-and-run offenses, and caused six accidents, all within 20 minutes. Obviously, the History Channel has not shared the roads of New York with taxi drivers who were probably herding goats a few months ago.

            1971 –Friday-  I went to a garden party to reminisce with my old friends
A chance to share old memories and play our songs again
When I got to the garden party, they all knew my name
No one recognized me, I didn't look the same……….
Now, if you gotta play a garden party, I wish you a lotta luck,
But if memories were all I sang, I rather drive a truck
…Rick Nelson……..Rick (formerly Ricky)  Nelson played his, what came to be known  “Garden Party” at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  Nelson, former teen idol of the Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet was invited to play in a reunion show at Madison Square Garden, alongside such early rock stars as Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Little Richard and others. By this time his hair had grown shoulder length and he was heavily into the country rock genre on which, his music would be a major influence (see Eagles and quite a few others). When he mixed in new material with his old music, the audience began to boo.  Kent Kotal at Forgotten Hits summed it up "Nelson wasn't one of the artists typically invited to these Oldies Revival Shows, and since he had been playing all along with his Stone Canyon Band, he REALLY didn't know what to expect, or fully understand what the crowd had come to hear. Ironically, a decade later his stage show was virtually non-stop back-to-back oldies hits, very true to their original arrangements, and Ricky's voice truly did improve with age. The good news was that one of the biggest songs of his entire career came out of the experience.”

            1990 Monday- The killer bees are coming 
Spreading fear and terror in our land 
They're always buzzing, never humming 
Get our your can of spray and make a stand!
….The Bobs……Attack of the Killer Bees!  After years of media hysteria, the dreaded killer bees, bypassing passport control and entering the country illegally just like millions of others from Mexico, reached the southern tip of Texas in the city of Hidalgo. They are called “killer bee” because of their intense defensive swarming behavior. Arizona was the second state to be invaded by these illegal alien insects. The bees had originated with (what else!) a scientific experiment in cross-breeding gone bad – mixing African bees with domestic bees in Brazil in the 1950s.  They had been moving northward ever since.   By 2004 they were in Oklahoma, however upon reaching Nevada they promptly lost all their money in a Keno game at Harrah’s and ………..Anyway, by 2007 they were in Florida (looking for beachfront condos) and New Orleans.

            1997 Wednesday-  On the expressway to your heart
The expressway is not the best way
At five o'clock it's much too crowded
Much too crowded, so crowded
No room for me (too crowded)
Oh, too crowded
…Soul Survivors…..The first supersonic land speed record was set by Andy Green in ThrustSSC, exactly 50 years and 1 day after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier in the Earth's atmosphere. He reached 763.035 mph (1227.99 km/h), the first supersonic record (Mach 1.016) at the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.  He would have gone faster but he had to slow down for a merge onto I 90.

1997 – Wednesday I had rather be Mercury, the smallest among seven (planets), revolving round the sun, than the first among five (moons) revolving round Saturn…… Johann Wolfgang von Goethe……..same day as the sound barrier was broken on land, the launch of the Cassini Mission to Saturn.  Due to a slight error in the Google Directions, Cassini was launched heading first to Venus for one of a series of "slingshot"

maneuvers that used gravity to boost its velocity and send the craft on its way to the outer solar system. Even so, the journey to Saturn took about seven years.  In October 2004, the Cassini spacecraft made the first of 45 close flybys of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon at one point passing only 1,200 kilometers above the moon. On Chistmas Day 2004, the Huygens probe separated from the Cassini orbiter, landing three weeks later, sending data for about 90 minutes after reaching the surface. The probe touched down on land, near the border of the Shangri-la and Adiri regions. The mission is named for the 17th century, astronomers, Holland's Christiaan Huygens and Italian Giovanni Domenico Cassini. Huygens and Cassini, observing  Saturn discovered its five largest moons and the birthplace of Madonna on the Saturnian moon Enceladus .

            2001 –Monday-  Io Io it’s off to work we go…….  NASA's Galileo spacecraft passed within 112 miles of Jupiter's  moon Io. In all Galileo  would have 35 encounters of Jupiter's major moons - 11 with Europa, 8 with Callisto, 8 with Ganymede, 7 with Io and 1 with Amalthea. The mission ended when the spacecraft crashed into Jupiter on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2003  sending millions of spores back to Earth that resulted in people who actually buy the smiley cursors that pop up on the screen when they drag their “ you won”  cursor across a webstie

            2003-Wednesday-  That’s one thing China has available to its space program that NASA doesn’t: money ….Amy Shira Teitel……. China became the third nation to send a man into space. Lieutenant Colonel Yang Liwei, 38, was launched on a Long March (cleverly named after Mao Zedong’s 1934 stroll of the same name) CZ-2F rocket in the Shenzhou (Shenzhou translates as “divine vessel”)-5 spacecraft. He completed 14 Earth orbits during a 21-hour flight which ended with a parachute-assisted landing in the on the grasslands of Inner Mongolia in northern China. Afterwards, Col. Liwei complained that the flight was like Chinese food, an hour later you want to have “launch” again.

            2009-Thursday- Whoa, tie a yellow ribbon 'round the ole oak tree
It's been three long years
Do ya still want me (still want me)
If I don't see a ribbon 'round the ole oak tree
I'll stay on the bus
…….Tony Orlando & Dawn…………..Continuing our space craft theme, see three items above, NASA's IBEX spacecraft discovered a vast, glowing ribbon at the edge of the solar system. One mission scientist called the discovery "shocking" and said  theorists are "working like crazy" to explain the finding. IBEX is not an antelope.  IBEX is a small explorer NASA mission to map the boundary of the solar system. The acronym IBEX stands for Interstellar Boundary EXplorer. The IBEX spacecraft is a small satellite the size of a bus tire. IBEX observes the solar system boundary while in orbit around Earth. The ribbon, wrapped around a gift wrapped black hole, was to be a surprise wedding gift for the merging of two spiral galaxies NGC 2207 and IC 2163.  Although the ribbon looks bright in the IBEX map, it does not glow in any conventional sense. The ribbon is not a source of light, but rather a source of particles--energetic neutral atoms or ENAs. IBEX's sensors can detect these particles, which are produced in the outer heliosphere where the solar wind begins to slow down and mix with interstellar matter from outside the solar system. Why a child of five could understand this. Someone fetch a child of five…….Groucho Marx.

Back to Calendar

– It's good to be king, if just for a while
To be there in velvet, yeah, to give 'em a smile
It's good to get high, and never come down
It's good to be king of your own little town……
Tom Petty ………….10 year old, Jadwiga was crowned King of Poland, even though she was a girl.  Queen would denote consort in those days and she would rule as a sovereign. Jadigwa was daughter of Louis I of Hungary and Poland.  In a political deal, to satisfy Polish demands for autonomy at Louis's death, she reigned in Poland and her sister reigned in Hungary. Jadwiga would marry Jagiello, grand duke of Lithuania (see Ladislaus II), in order to unite Poland and Lithuania and to convert the Lithuanians to Christianity. They ruled jointly, “their majesties, the King and King?”….and after she died without issue,  he ruled alone.

1430 –Saturday-  The shifts of fortune test the reliability of friends…Cicero….. Happy Birthday, King James II of Scotland, born at Holyrood in Edinburgh.  We note James II because Scottish kings, especially named James,  were not particularly long lived. Excellent at political infighting and intrigue, they were awful military leaders. But in the history of medieval betrayals and sleazy behavior, James, nicknamed ‘Fiery Face’ after a large birthmark on his face,  earned a place of honor.  Throughout most of his reign, the powerful Douglas family posed a perceived threat to his throne. When he was ten, his advisers invited the young 6th Earl of Douglas and his and his 14 year old brother David to dinner at Edinburgh Castle. There they were murdered at  what is known as 'The Black Dinner' in 1440. In spite of this William, the  8th Earl of Douglas, (Douglases frequently did to each other what was done to them by others) was a strong supporter of the King.  Following a quarrel, William was invited to meet with the King.  He cleverly left his sword and shield outside. Whoops…big mistake. James himself stabbed him to death in Stirling Castle.  Later, at age twenty nine, while besieging Roxburgh Castle (held by the English for more than a century),  James stood next to one of his cannon and